Monday, May 15, 2017

Tanka Prose


veins of lightning
flash their warning
to the earth …
the silent rivers  
that daily course through me

Despite the rain, we have all the hope of safely arriving home this spring afternoon. But then the heavens open wide. Sky soon blends into road, which blends into flash-floodwater. A massive wash of gray, a lengthy line of traffic.  

We make the decision to turn around in our tiny vehicle at the last-possible opportunity to do so—just before the tall pickup truck ahead of us goes barreling through, water up to its taillights. It appears that a second pickup, from the other direction, could be floating. (We later realize this is where the highway dips and that the stream has risen well above the small bridge.) But halfway into the turn, momentary panic engulfs me: could the way back now be as treacherous as the way we were headed?    

—FM 1774, Waller County, Texas, USA

—Atlas Poetica, Spring 2017


This event took place last May, about two weeks after my mother's passing and two weeks after the first set of spring rains, which caused much flooding in Houston and the surrounding areas. What a shocker: we heard that a foot of rain fell that afternoon in just one hour. This story is part one. The second part, "No more room at the inn," will be posted in a few weeks, once it's been published.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

All my life

all my life
a yen for small
or discarded things 
... a poem's seed

Skylark, summer 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

One door

one door
marked electrical
the other, stairs
sometimes I'm tempted
to open the wrong one

GUSTS, spring/summer 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Crows and clocks

crows and clocks,
clatter in the kitchen
from my husband ...
how active the world is
while I'm inclined to slumber

GUSTS, spring/summer 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

Long kidskin gloves

long kidskin gloves
she wore in the ╩╝60s
on my bare arm
is this just a freckle
or another age spot?

Moonbathing, issue 15, fall 2016

She seemed to me to be quite the fashion plate back in the day.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bridge may ice

bridge may ice,
shoulder ends ahead—
road signs
I see for the first time
soon after her passing

Ribbons, winter 2016/17

Even in Texas, out here in the country, bridges can ice in winter, though we only had a few "real" days of winter this winter.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tanka Prose


Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap … Sturdy, manicured nails striking keys. So far, she's asked me three questions to do with my personal information—basically, if it's still correct. "Yes, Yes, Yes," I've responded. The tapping goes on interminably. Why, I have no idea. Elbow on desk, I rest my chin in my palm.
tick tick tick
who am I anyway?
the most I do
in this sterile space
is take a few more breaths
Then more questions—what's a good emergency contact number, if I have a living will, who my next of kin is—the same questions I've been asked a multitude of times before, followed by more tap-tapping on the keyboard. And eventually, she generates a thin plastic wristband to ID me during my brief stay, a stack of papers I must initial and sign (including one reminding me this is a smoke-free facility), and a stapled document I'm supposed to take home (a candidate for the shredder).

Twelve minutes of my life, gone. Not to mention the eighteen or nineteen minutes of wait time beforehand. To think I'm here only for a routine procedure.
painted the color
of the sea ...
deeper, deeper my feet
in imaginary sand

Contemporary Haibun OnlineJanuary 2017, vol. 12, no. 4

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Announcement: March issue of Haibun Today

The March 2017 issue of Haibun Today has been released—my first time as editor of the tanka prose section. Enjoy!