Father’s Day

Father’s Day

Years of absence taking
their toll. Distance traveled
without regret to fulfill
a heart’s wishes becoming regret
at separation from those left behind.

Always missing them,
of course. No real concern,
other times. Phone and video.
Travel. All more than enough.
Most times. Must be the years.

This day is different.

endless falling rain ~ haibun

endless falling rain

In sudden warm temperatures, heavy winter snow flows with water, the melt running past ground still frozen. River reservoirs fill, and engineers with their minds on management of nature’s course decide when and where water will flow. Relentless spring rains add to already overburdened rivers, while waters rise and banks disappear. Levees that have withstood years of repeated onslaught are breached or overtopped. Water flows through city streets, while farm fields lie underwater, the season’s crops destroyed as they wait for the river to recede.

endless falling rain
rivers closed to all traffic
fish swim in the streets

This haibun (word count 98) is my response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #89 Extreme Haibun … rain, with the challenge to write of a haibun of 100 words or less in length.

where she will ~ magnetic poetry

where she will

rain falls
water rises
a river flows where she will
with no regard for man
or his needs
a course never by choice
ever by circumstance

If you want to try magnetic poetry, you can do it online, here.

Background image: Missouri River at Jefferson City, Missouri – 06 June 2019
(click image for larger view in new tab)

Farewell, Tuck

Tuck Magazine started out as a literary and arts publication covering poetry, fiction, reviews, art, and photography in October 2011. It went on to concentrate on human rights, politics, and social justice around the world, but I didn’t discover it until the autumn of 2018, when I had a burst of poetry regarding social issues, and Editor Michael Organ was kind enough to accept those poems.

In its editorial of May 3, 2019, Editorial: The Last Word, Tuck Magazine announced the end of its publication.

These are the poems published by Tuck Magazine:


What to Do When the Moon Won’t Be Your Mistress

Clouds will not be parted by presumptuous hands.
Yes, it may be a thin veil that separates you,
but it may as well be a swimsuit
worn by a young teen who is not impressed
by machismo worn like entitlement.

True, there is no need to silence her
when the vacuum of space buffers better
than loud music in a remote second-floor bedroom,
but even your clouded judgment must see
she cannot be restrained.

You may think you can bare the moon.
After all, boys will be boys. Besides, who would tell?
But if she finds her voice, others will question you,
so keep a calendar. It could turn the tide
if you need to talk your way out of anything.

Better yet, have a stiff drink
and keep your hands to yourself.

(Regarding the Brett Kavanaugh hearings)


Too Silent, Too Long

Voices remain silent.
They know,
but they don’t, really,
so they feel helpless

in their not knowing.
Ask the victims?
Make them relive their pain?
Questions unasked,

not knowing what to do,
while the survivors suffer
inner voices with their own
unasked questions.

And the accused,
or unaccused, given
the circumstances,
live free of conviction.

Aside from the victims,
is anyone innocent?



License to Hate

Great Again.
That’s what you said.

It’s not about color, politics, or religion.
You’re everyone’s friend.

Until you’re not. So you demonize,
stoking a climate of hate. Who’s the real demon?

In spite of their temporal source,
your words are not spoken in a vacuum.

Of course, all you have to do is disavow
anyone who puts your words into action.

Tweets from a hawk are music to no one,
with the real enemy fear mongering from the bully pulpit.

(POTUS #45)


The Joke Is on Us

We cringe at the thought of foreign agents
unleashing their terror upon us;
cordon off suspicious packages;
remove our shoes before boarding a plane;
subconsciously – hell, consciously –
profile certain attributes as alien, suspicious,
worthy of scorn and shunning,
terrorized by our own fear. To what end?

A man walks into a bar.

(mass shooting – Thousand Oaks, California)


anguish measured in tears

one foot in front of the other
families and miles
measured in the thousands

asylum their only need
pleas falling on deaf ears
dream now a nightmare

border crossing rebuffed
canisters traded for rocks
thrown in protest

tear gas for temerity
delivery indiscriminate, for families
lumped together as criminals

shed a tear for the child who sheds a tear

(US southern border)


Many thanks to Michael Organ
for his efforts and for publishing these.

Ken Gierke

And now to find a home for a poem that would have been a good fit for Tuck Magazine.

Image source: Tuck Magazine website header

all around me, inside and out ~ Kerfe

I know that many of you recognize the mad poetic and artistic skills of Kerfe Roig, as seen on the blog “method two madness” that she shares with her friend, Nina, so I’m sure you’ll want to check out her recent posts on a side-blog she has created during Nina’s hiatus.


all around me s

I am one with the waters
with colors with sounds with winds
that shimmer me with light–
I fill myself with waves

with colors with sound with winds
with skies reflected from deep within–
I fill myself with waves–
I am inhaling the salt and the sand

with skies reflected from deep within–
covered by the sun’s blanket
I am inhaling the salt and sand–
I close my eyes and soar

covered by the sun’s blanket
that shimmers me with light–
I close my eyes and soar–
I am one with the waters

a solitary figure on a beach against a wide ocean.

Another pantoum, for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.

all around me close up s

I am posting at this site while Nina is on hiatus.  But I’ll be back at MeMadTwo when she returns.

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Morning in the Market ~ with audio

Morning in the Market

Children race across the square
hair flowing, skirts blowing.
Shopkeepers lower their awnings
and bring out their wares.

An apple falls from a cart,
bumping along the cobblestones,
evading the children as it tumbles
between a vendor’s legs.

Old women file into the square,
some with aprons, some without.
Kitchens await their return
with breads and meats for the day.

The air buzzes with conversation,
prices questioned, gossip shared.
Mid-morning finds the carts half-empty,
breads arrayed to fill the spaces.

An apple rolls from beneath a cart,
cool from lying in the shade.
Sunlight glints on red,
and the children spy their quarry.

The bustle lessens, somewhat,
the shoppers finding fewer choices.
A reminder of the mid-day meal,
the sun shines high overhead.

The day’s fare nearly gone, now,
the last remaining vendors close up.
Plans already set in motion
hint at tomorrow’s activity.

An apple lies, half-eaten,
the game long over.
The taste of nearby orchards plays
on the tongue of a laughing child.

This is my response to the prompt To market, to market!, from Sarah at dVerse.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Market Scene, by Pieter Aertsen

Ken G.



When the reminders of presence are strong
enough to keep one present and not seeking
the destruction of all that came before,
and the understanding of effect,
separate from cause, is firmly grasped,

the strength to accept the potential
of the current moment will awaken,
the path forward no easier
than that already taken, yet
taken out of the darkness.

This poem was inspired by Margaret Bednar’s Intervention, a flash fiction written as a response to “Prosery #1” at dVerse. I suggest you read her post. You’ll also find an audio of her piece there, as well.

Even (or especially) with this poem in mind, it’s important to understand that the complexities of depression dictate that there is no one-solution.

Ken G.