The Quality of Removal

The Quality of Removal
or Removal

Not so much the undesirable.
Not that that’s always possible.
Not when it’s beyond your control.

Consider yourself.
Value yourself.
Know yourself.

Your self-worth.
Your peace of mind.
Your own wellbeing.

Only then can you
extract yourself
from the undesirable.

This is my response to Poetics: Quality Poems, the prompt from Kim at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem titled “The Quality of […]” Kim also asks that we emulate the form of Les Murray’s poem The Quality of Sprawl, by starting each stanza with “[…] is/does.” I didn’t have it in me, so maybe this should be titled Removal.

The Price of Insomnia

The Price of Insomnia

Late at night, with sleep a fairy tale
that wouldn’t come true, I’d lie
on the couch staring at the tube.

Long before satellite and cable
connections, when streaming
meant getting your feet wet.

When an antenna on the roof
was the primary connection
to the outside world.

When programming ended
for the night and infomercials
were the only thing on the air.

I’d watch them hawk their wares
until I finally fell asleep to their voices
fading into the white noise of test patterns,

with visions of the highest-grade zirconium
or Teflon-clad pots with an ironclad guarantee,
the stuff that dreams are made of.

This is my response to Sarah’s prompt at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Acting like animals! We’re asked to used the name of an animal as a verb.

Just a Memory ~ haibun

Just a Memory

We often treasure what is hardest to obtain, or retain. So it is for me with memories. They say that every time we remember something the details of that memory are altered. If only that were the case for me. Details are the first to go, so altering them is an entirely different matter. If I have to re-enter a room to remember why I entered it to begin with, what are the chances that I will remember specific details, whether from distant or recent past?

Consider a recent conversation I had with two people. I might recall part of the conversation, but I’m just as likely to credit a statement to the wrong person.

And a specific event? I might be able to visualize it, but there is no guarantee that I will remember anything other than a snapshot. It’s always been this way for me, compounded now in my later years. At least, that’s the way I remember it.

leaf falls and is gone
tree waits for return of spring
just a memory

This is my response to Haibun Monday 5-22-23: Memory,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

By the Stars ~ quadrille

By the Stars

No map exists for the course
that brought me to you. Yet,
with the stars as my guide,
there was but one path.
Once a heart knows the way,
it cannot be denied.
Mine would not stop
until it found its way to you.


This is my response to Quadrille #155 – Mapping out our poems, the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use a form of the word map in a Quadrille – a 44-word poem (excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

Image source:



Brief, this window.
Birth to death.
So much to do.
So little time.


This is my response to Poetics: Window Gazing,
the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Shared with Day Eighteen at (off prompt)

Trompe-l’œil (per Wikipedia) is an artistic term for the highly realistic optical illusion of three-dimensional space and objects on a two-dimensional surface.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons ~ “Escaping Criticism” by Pere Borrell del Caso

Driving with Miles



Driving with Miles

Rain falls, steady, and I say so what.
Wipers try in vain to keep the beat,
but this combo is too tight.
The bass just layin’ it down,
horn and sax sparring.

There’s a fog rolling through the hills,
tellin’ the rain
hold the ice, this is just too cool.

Bare branches, with pines the only green
in a landscape of white on brown.

Wait! A lone birch like a ghost that knows.
As blue as this feels,
there will be no blue sky.

And that so what refrain slips in
and out.

Narrow roads now,
winding through wet grass
lined with granite and marble.
A memorial among memorials,
some barely legible.
Everything here is blue,

except the pines, white now with big, heavy flakes.
Country roads skirt the mountains,
Snow, now powder, hangs in the air
like a fog. Roads slicker than the music.

Hands tense on the wheel.
Piano eases through me, slowly
levels out, brings me back to the lake,
out there somewhere,
blue asleep within the white.



This is from a reading at Spine Bookstore & Café, St Louis, MO (12 Mar 2023).

Driving with Miles is included in my poetry collection, Glass Awash, published by Spartan Press.

Shared with OpenLinkNight at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.


Mezza Luna ~ haibun

Mezza Luna

I roll down these dark roads beneath a moon that gives no quarter. Even its half-light provides a beacon that offers comfort to one who is headed home. Given time, it will shine even brighter. But I will be home by then, my heart content, and I’ll be able to share its brilliance.

bare branches
reach for glowing orb
in darkness


This is my response to Haibun Monday 2-27-23: Mezza Luna,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Mezza Luna is Italian for the moon’s quarter phase, or half-moon.

Image: Moon 58% full at 9:00pm, 27 February 2023

Nebulous ~ quadrille


No more, yet no less, sensitive
than those around her.
In tune with her emotions.
          A siren calls
from an interstellar cloud,
her song          familiar notes.
          Then and now.
Her voice          imploring,
          know this truth.
This star          my heart
is meant only for you.

This is my response to Quadrille #169: A Star (Poem) is Born,
the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
which is to use a form of the word star in a Quadrille – a 44-word poem
(excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

Image source: Astronomy Picture of the Day ~ The Heart of the Rosette Nebula (© Lyman Insley)