Posts for June 3, 2023


Word of the Day: Hortatory

Every so often, as I skip through sentences
crisp as leaves that line forest floors, I stumble upon an unknown
word that protrudes from the page like a gnarled
root.  Today, it was “hortatory” that sent me tumbling.  
Luckily, the fall didn’t bruise my ego.  These lexical snags exhort
me to remember my own ignorance and savor the thrill of so many wonders I have yet to discover.

Registration photo of Katie Hassall for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.


How does clutter build up so quickly?
The stack of mail to look at later
things carelessly left out
books from the library

It doesn’t take long until you
have a mountain
of stuff to sort
through and put away

It can happen in your mind
as well as your home
stray thoughts, doubts, insecurities
build up until they are a true obstacle

Cleaning your house is a lot easier
than cleaning out your mind
and putting those negative 
thoughts to rest


Living for 24

Sunshine prisms on the hardwood 
Our clock with 2 year old batteries 
Forever frozen at 8:43
I’m sure somewhere along the way
We’ll figure out what it means. 
But I think to myself 
If the last time, were the last 
Twenty-four hours
Would it be enough to sustain them?
Would the last bit of yourself that you had to offer up
The night and day and hours before–
Be enough to last in their memory for the rest of their lives? 
Leaving a lasting mark 
Etched beautifully in their souls
Stretched out far enough to last the distance 
Time, space, and existence 
Will ask us to go until we meet again? 

Because these moments are all we’ve got until they’re and we’re 

So if tomorrow doesn’t exist yet
And these hours passed are all that’s left,
Was the gifts of yesterday enough? 
The laughs that sprang from our bellies..
the hugs that were wrapped so tightly 
too many snacks we over-indulged in
the thumbs we rubbed as we so nervously held hands
the love we made—
twice in one day, enough 
If “that enough”
was all we had left
to cling to in the dead of night, 
when tomorrow…. is the someday 
that starts without me and I’m but a memory 
Because someday– you won’t see 
the last time coming
but it somehow always does.
Make sure… just in case, this last time, 
is that last time…

Its good to the last drop— 
And never let it end, 
a moment too soon. 

Registration photo of Jazzy for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.

When I Die

When I die will the world stop and ask why?

Will they care in a casket that I lie?

Will they cry or eat pie?

I ain’t gonna lie I hope they cry and eat pie.

Eat pie in celebration and for comfort, too.

Cry tears of joy for a life well lived and for a soul that’s ready to go.



and just like that
you’re an adult.

you’re handed a slip of paper
and wished good luck.

you don’t know where to go
or what you’re doing.

just that you’re responsibilities 
have been multiplied by three.


growing as I wish

wake up new,
face unrecognizable from yesterday’s,
and that’s okay.

find new meaning in stretching, 
in eating,
be delighted by the sun’s
strong light on the wall

I want to grow up comfortable.
I want to be satisfied.
I want to have wrinkles from smiling.

I’m gonna
go on walks outside and
I’ll tell my friends
“that’s okay,”
when they’re worried
and smile when I see a cat

I will feel different than I did before.
I am a person who changes.

feel my face and
be okay with what I find,
feel my skin and feel neutral (I think there is happiness
in neutrality),
feel happy to be here

here with you,
all of you

I will be happy around people.

it’s who
I want to be.

Registration photo of Lavanya S for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.



“that is” WHITE PEOPLE’s (and now “*~eVeRyOnE’s~*”) Natural Way,”

from Old World to New,

as Tried and True as the

sun evaporating water,

and the clouds raining it back

down to “us” on earth.

…at least that’s what it seems that

[They] don’t want you to think

(or ask in the first place)

about [Their] response when you ask them

why we can’t have a four day work week.


A Man with One Shoe

Lying rooted in the shade
of inner-city

Burled trunks melting over
the collapsing

His suitcase an abandoned

Containing a half-life with
no return

Somnolent face turned

Outstretched arm
in weeds

Palm upturned
in abject

I recall my past dirt naps
as the stoplight
turns green


The Anchoress and Me

3: Pentiment



i have never loved a man nor woman nor God

but there is an anchor and cell in me

that wishes Faith only wellness, wealth and toppled walls

yet calls myself hypocrisy



effigy me i

lurk through the window

               (wound? orifice? an eye?)

and pleading cry that she stop digging

through this grave


the Goddamn melodrama

it’s not living is it

it’s not living





through other masks and ekphrases have i imaged

these same anchored stones

i’ve closed men’s sight and woman’s eyes

i’ve sewn God’s own heart shut

i’ve dug this grave with lettered hands



and with words chopped minds apart



               Really, some other me explains, it’s just the Law of large numbers.

               If a painter paints

               or printer prints

               an ark-length canon of human faces,

               he will of course produce your faces, too.


Water Our Roots

It feels like summer now,
downpour downing away 
        long winter woes,

washing our sins into
    the Main Street gutters 

while we walk unabashed 

    downtown through a sheet of rain. 

Lightning flashes like exclamation points
    highlighting clouds

whose outlined curves reflect the
mountains we climb in our minds

            as thunder booms deep into the hollers

calling us all home.