S is for Sudorific

sudorific: adjective – causing or inducing sweat; noun – a drug that induces sweating

sudoriferous: adjective – producing or conveying sweat (like a gland or duct)

Close-up of daffodils

Flawed Reflection

He looks at you and sees himself
You look at him and do the same
The love of self blooms into
A giddy mirror

He reflects upon himself in your work
You proudly do the same
The self-serving compliments
Bounce frantically hour after hour

With him movement eases
Sudorific fears abate
Or intertwined lose their odor
You recognize your unmasked scent

He guides you to your own will
You congratulate his greatness
For capturing your art in action
In a warped carnival

His words halt my thoughts
Are too powerful; I pause
Your words, weak and shallow
Steal the fresh smell of spring

A wilted and soured narcissus
So quick to rejoin the dirt
I hear the wrenching and cleaving
The mirror cracks

This poem was inspired by the NaPoWriMo theme of the Narcissus myth and by learning that Frank Bidart won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry then finding videos of his readings with James Franco.

On a happier note – I read this article that has nothing to do with either man: Art and Poetry Collide.

It inspired me. I’m thinking of finding a poem to inspire a series of textile art pieces. I’m also going to see if there are any events in my area that create collaborations between poets and artists and if not, I may create one.
In the spirit of collaboration between poets and artists, you may want to look at:

The Art of Collaboration: Poets, Artists, Books

A Different Image: The Legacy of Broadside Press

Words with friends: Artist-Poet Pairings from ArtNews April 2013


R is for Rutilant

rutilant: adjective – having a redish glow

nightgown outside in the day

Forbidden Spaces

In my nightgown in the sun and bare feet in the grass, so the air flows right on up, but they would have to have binoculars to see my skin blush rutilant

In my nightgown in the lake and bare feet on the sharp stones, so the cotton clings to goose flesh and if the fishermen come too close like they do, the fabric will be see-through

In my nightgown on the dock, my arms rutilant and steaming,  I meditate on unspoken rules while the breeze whispers truth across my arm hair enticing it to stand erect and alight my nerve endings causing my body to sizzle, but not into action or re-action, but to elated attention or micro-percipience so I am prepared to

Watch that sentence run

Nightgown in the lake


To further explore the NaPoWriMo theme of breaking rules you may want to read:

Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James

Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, Mary Davis Holt, Sharon Allen

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.) by Chris Guillebeau

10 Poetry Classics That Break All The Rules


Happy Reading and Writing!


Q is for Querl

querl: transitive verb – To twirl; to turn or wind round; to coil; as, to querl a cord, thread, or rope.


Inattentional Blindness

Seeing you especially violent, one witness

Elsewhere, the querling stimulus is only concern
Processed stress narrowing focus due

The physical weapons drawn
A state of attention blinding
Can occur during high events

Cognitively inattentional, blind witness


Inattentional blindness is a state of seeing but not seeing. The physical stimulus is visually processed, but due to attention drawn elsewhere, you are cognitively blind. Attention narrowing, like querling cord, can occur due to periods of high stress, especially during violent events that cause weapons focus. Inattentional blindness is only one area of concern in witness testimony.


*This poem was written in response to today’s Na/GloPoWriMo prompt. I didn’t follow Dan Brady’s form, exactly, but enjoyed the practice of finding my poem by pulling the words from the prose paragraph I wrote. The prose paragraph was inspired by the Forensic Psychology course I’m taking through Open University at futurelearn.com.

Happy Reading and Writing!

P is for Pasquinade

pasquinade: noun – 1. a lampoon posted in a public place 2. satirical writing: satire: pasquinade – transitive verb


The statue Pasquino in Rome is a place where people post pasquinades. Image from atlanteditorino.it


The Next Pasquinade

While he pillages the public square,
She looks deeply into the pirate’s murky eyes
Called to action by pasquinade
Cleaned from view by the corrupt
The statue still glistening damp
Plump fruits abandoned, their vendors joining
The stampede over the trampled
Creating new satire between the fear
The attack litters bodies, looted to skeletons
Nothing left to tell their tales
Who will dress Pasquino,
And laugh at the undressing of powers?
Terrorists along a fine line to define
Where the cobbles were once flat
They crack and rise to trip the unfortunate fleeing
The coming dusk smells of blood and ejecta
An accumulated concentration of defeat
Splattered upon the gray armless torso, the first to talk
Spreading from the Palazzo Brashi,
The conquerors whoop victory and begin their play
The joke-revealing slant-light of sunset their audience.


This poem was inspired by “Roman Outposts” from The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013


I posted this to Open Link Night #218 on dVerse Poets Pub

O is for Obtund

obtund: verb (transitive) – to reduce the edge or violence of; to blunt; dull; deaden


Peanut Butter Prank

His brother hated
The taste of peanut butter
He liked spiced mustard

He would play a trick
Spread the peanut butter thick
Hidden in middle

Mustard ringed the edge
His brother took the kind gift
He smiled and waited

He took a big bite
Spit to obtund the flavor
Hucked into the street

Chijitsu: The Lingering, Long Spring Day – A Haibun

No longer Cohesive

The Lingering, Long Spring Day

Each second, like a drip from a faucet–like the faucet he took apart, so I could clean it while he waited for the silicone to dry around the new sink–drops into the abyss. The sink leaked, then he fixed the leak, but came back and took it all apart because he didn’t like the plumbing, but it wouldn’t be mended because the old sink had corroded. A small drip now a three week project.

The seconds pool to minutes like the rain never stopping fills the lake and the river pouring over its banks. The chopping, angry waves threaten. The rain is incessant. Sheets of streams cut the gray at diagonals and meet the windows like acrylic nails impatiently waiting at the bar. I imagine them tapping on the porcelain of the new sink.

The minutes accumulate–drip by drip, converging pools to rising lake–into an hour. This hour is heavy with rain and the cleaner faucet lords over the new sink unused awaiting more hours to dry and your unexpected call brings a glimmer of cheer, but quickly whirlpools into uninvited conspiratorial nonsense and the seconds stand still until you will stop.

Fat droplets linger
At the bottom of streaked panes
Then fall to the earth


I wrote this in response to the Monday Haibun prompt at dVerse Poets Pub



N is for Noosphere

noosphere: noun – the sphere of human consciousness and mental activity especially in regard to its influence on the biosphere and in relation to evolution


An Apple Is An Apple

Would you like to play a game?
All you need’s an active brain.
It starts upon the physical plane
But is played in the noosphere.

As Vladimir Vernadsky said
There is power in your head
To change material processes
A new riddle risen before us

You won’t need to leave your room
We’ll start looking at a blot and boom
Association levels bloom
Some meanings and duration shared

It can be played in any season
Just use the force of human reason
To control the will of legion
With consequence beyond the surface

We’ll meet beyond the horizon of
The imaginable and then think above
A heart symbolic of to love
To a higher dimension of meaning

If a match, a vision shared
Was there energy when we paired
Measurable, material aired
In the realm of the unimaginable?

No? Let’s play again.


Further Reading

Would you like to learn more about the noosphere? You may want to check out:

150 Years of Vernadsky: The Noösphere (Volume 2)

Cosmic Humanism;: A Theory of the Eight-Dimensional Cosmos Based on Integrative Principles from Science, Religion, and Art by Oliver Reiser

A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance by Rupert Sheldrake

The Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap by Peter Russell

Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness (Manifesto Series) by Jose Arguelles

The Economics of The Noösphere: Why Lyndon LaRouche Is The World’s Most Successful Economic Forecaster Of the Past Four Decades by Lyndon H LaRouche Jr. and Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky

Happy Reading and Writing in the Noosphere!

See you tomorrow.

N is for Nisus – I woke up thinking it was Monday. I’ll do another N tomorrow.

nisus: noun – a mental or physical effort to attain an end; impulse: a perfective urge or endeavor


Fresh-Scented Answer

Six months of siege
The men are restless
The tents can’t cover the stench of
prairie baked with sweat, blood and waste
I have no more blood-roiling speeches to impart
I need air and with haste

I disguise myself as peasant
And sneak inside the wall
To a garden drawn by sweet perfume
A song rises on the wind
Dipping and caressing the blooms
Unknowingly revealing my heart’s desire

The nisus to create chaos
Put on pause to find order
In silent centering or the mathematical
Arrangements of octaves
relaxing into combined harmony and discord

With a purple lock, the battle won
Eros fly your arrow and a temptation for good measure
To pursue the worst betrayal
I feel her watching, I set to scrubbing,
Finding pleasant scents, to masking
Expecting her arrival

Success ’tis mine, his weakness at my feet
As is she, abhorrent monster
Not worth the price I flee
And yet she clings to drowning
Feral gods you taunt
My enemy conquered transformed to hover
And the jilted lover drowned rises to fly, a heron.

The days at sea are slow and draining
But this drama is entertaining for
The once magic king now osprey
has spied the back-biting heron
And dives with talon and beak
Seeking revenge
Like the morning sun will come
This new war never ends



I took these pictures to illustrate my friend Christopher Bailey’s guest post on writer’s block. I love that they fit so well with today’s theme, so I can use them again.

M is for Mawkish

mawkish: adjective – 1. having an insipid often unpleasant taste 2. sickly or puerilely sentimental

writober 27

Mutation by Maria L. Berg 2017


Puerilely Sentimental

Your teacup rattles as the table wobbles
I quickly lift my cup in response
The steaming charcoal liquid close to my face
Smells of pleasant bergamot
But I remember its mawkish entanglement and
Center it carefully back in its saucer

I wince as the hammer echos beyond the window
A seagull screams. I smell the ocean
And our wobbling table is in a rowboat
I know I had placed matchbooks under the uneven leg
I bend over to find it and see that the ribbons
Of my ballet shoe have bunched to my ankle again
Frustrated, I begin to cross and wrap the pink satin and
Become embarrassed by the spots of blood

You sip your mawkish tea
The seagull lands on your head and
You lift your teacup to its beak
I worry that the blood from my
Ballet shoes will attract the shark
My ribbons tight, too tight, I hear
A clink of the china and two of my teeth
Float in the now cold tea
You bang your hammer on the table
Making it wobble and tell me to
Go to the dentist
I feel trapped in this rowboat
With you and your seagull and
Search the water for the shark


L is for Lapidescent and Lamott

lapidescent – adjective – turning to stone; petrifying

Symbol in the Mountain


Watch for spiders when turning to stone

A spider outside titanium tombs admits to gathering glass and
Pokes positive whispers to flip
Lichen over rocky ruins welcome collected chlorinated streams to
Come to yes, the dust spinning
You between tungsten traps sanction catching carbonation and
Stay pro compliment still
Safety-pins under obsidian obsessions permit keeping keeps to
Arrive at every surrender lapidescent.

Anne Lamott’s Truth BombsSigned by Anne Lamott

Last weekend (for my birthday), my sweetie treated me to a talk by Anne Lamott at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Anne Lamott is the author of Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. My cousin (whose birthday is the day before mine) got me this book for my birthday years ago when I started my first novel.

We had great seats stage left and while we waited for the event to start, I admired the modern style of the room. The pod-like, tiered balcony seats reminded me of the floating senate sections from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

When she was introduced, we were told she likes to drop “truth bombs” and she did. She started by answering the questions “How do we keep going in these troubled times? Where do we even begin?” Her answer: “The system works because we’re not all nuts on the same day.”

I enjoyed her truth that “Help is the sunny side of control.” It reminded me of all the times my mother so kindly tells me about job opportunities. And sometimes my “help” isn’t what people need.

And if you want to have a better life, “start each day by feeding the hungry babies.”

Her advice for writers?

  • Stop! not writing.
  • Trick other people into writing
  • Write terrible first drafts
  • Get a lot of help
  • Pay attention
  • Wake up

Her newest book Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, in its gorgeous orange cover, was inspired by this song:

Though she said she sang it in church, so maybe not this particular version 🙂

These are fun too:

Want to listen to this song over and over? There are a lot of different recordings of Hallelujah Anyhow to choose from.

Happy Reading and Writing!

See you tomorrow.