Roll Sheet

My entry for day 4 of the 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: “take the phrase ‘(blank) Sheet,’ replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem.”

When teacher’s gone away, children untamed
assume different names. Desks rearranged
by chemistry rather than tyranny
sits friend beside friend; why wouldn’t they attend?
Near-sighted students no longer need glasses
when they can sit in the front. They see fine–
and listen too–when needing not to squint
to read the teacher’s chicken scratch,
when the substitute remains blind
to the antics that happen behind her back
and focuses instead on teaching math
and science and words beyond “No!”
or “Stop!” or idle threats that rein no beasts
but rather docile sheep who never bleat anyway.
No longer centered in the front, the brats
fall to the back and play with their phones
to the pleasure of the rest of the class
that finally learn something about math.
For once, the roll sheet has everyone
in attendance, ready to learn as desired.

On a Swing

My entry for day 3 of the 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: “write a ‘the last time I was here’ poem.”

On the edge of the slide, she sat.
I lay my head in her lap, creeping
closer to the soft spot in her chest, telegraphing
desire drunk with the rush of a swing.
If I leapt from the chains, I may fall
right into her lap, face first, but
I kept swinging back, afraid to crack
my neck should she reject my advance.
I sold my soul for a safer dream
as a faithful pup for her to pet
and hug and share her every secret with.
She may not welcome me inside
if she knew I wanted much more
than Wednesday nights out in a park
with her and adopted friends on swings
that made me dizzy. I’d be in bliss
to spend each night inside her bed–
the warmth preferred to the winter chill–
instead of out with other boys
who fought me for scraps that fell off her
as she walked through life unbeknownst
how every boy wanted much more
than a walk in the park. Her room
promised greater prospects to he
who had the courage to leap first, but
though appetites suggested wolves,
we were nothing but pups.
without opposable thumbs
to open the door or even to knock.

Morning Star

Day 23 of the 2012 April Pad Challenge by

Horizon beneath the onyx canvas
bleeds with a watermelon tinge.
The rooster’s crow, the alabaster kiss
herald the Sun’s resurrection.

Specters congregated to haunt the night
exposed to be but naked trees.
Chills of Winter fog dissipated by
effervescent threads from the Spring.

Star from the East, ascend to the mountain–
beatify the forsaken ground.
Blunt the chill’s sting with golden redemption–
adorn the Earth with ivory crowns.

The starless night struck by the tangerine tint–
asunder dashed by the Morning Star’s ascent.