We Are Leaves

We, the leaves that cling so brightly to our body
that once we were a part of
and bloomed willingly cohesive in the sun.
The sun still touches our arms
but we are cold
and apart, having been spurned
and scorned
for lives lived
in bright colors.
Still we cling
or else fall in the trampling shadows
of concrete pavement.
We are no longer wanted.
We are dead or dying,
yet stubborn and hanging high
on the tree
of which we are a part
without acknowledgment.


National Novel Writing Month

Yes, everyone it's NaNoWriMo. Woo!
I'm off to a great start (not) with a whole 1121 words typed for the first two days. Lame.
Anyway, check out www.nanowrimo.org. Make an account. Add me as a writing buddy (s.e.cates).
And get writing! 50,000 words or bust!

(Or you can just play writing games on the forums. That's always fun too.)




this is not

chasing the coattails of immature sentences

period and catching on

this is not

breaking the barrier of thinking

in rhythm

and only comprehension is away

this is not

feeling the gritty grime

crust through fingers to the page

and land in a pattern of ugly

that is beautiful

this is not

lying through sharpened teeth

to make a point

that you don’t believe

until it’s there

this is not


this is not


this is not

that thing that it is said to be

what it looks like

what it tastes like

this is not

that poison

this is not


that is not what

it feels like being


The Small People

Started out being inspired by the idea that stars are basically just ghosts.

Unedited, random piece. I like writing in fairy-tale-esque verse.

The sun it cried a bright flame

and with its breath it said,

“This earth, it turns so slowly.

They don’t know that they are dead.”

And he could spin them faster

“I won’t,” his promise tragic.

And on and on he watched them,

and always they were static.

On Earth, they had no knowledge

of pain as bright as this:

the sun the one thing living,

his fire curled in fists.


The stars were ghosts of living,

they birthed by death’s bright eye.

They watched the people spinning

and played their part to die.

They knew the mortals’ true flaw

unable to see truth,

the date they should be fighting

mortal claw and human tooth.

From Earth, they knew not sadness

of watching dead men’s lives,

though every night they saw it:

their fate inside the sky.


And Earth it cradled softly

its children bright and dying,

a beauty great and horrid

like sun and stars combining.

The world, it spun so slowly.

Time is a mortal thing

that keeps the people blinded

in constant wandering.

And if they spun it faster

they’d fly off in the sky

and shake this curse of living,

the final day to die.


The sky, it held them gently.

The universe expanded.

The people lived so small-y

like human life demanded.

The world, it let them go on.

The sun, it cried their fate.

Star-ghosts illuminated

their expiration date.

The mortals nodded brightly;

they felt the sun’s bright ray,

the tears that flew in star dust,

and still, on Earth, they stayed.


Time's Washing Woman

I think on Wednesdays there is a woman. She’s probably old with a gentle stoop and a foreign hooked nose that hides her smile. I probably like the twinkle in her eyes.

And, on Wednesdays, it is probably her job to iron and press. She probably does it with the ease built from age. But she does not have my shirts or skirts to work on.

No, she has my time. It’s already been made wet and limp by Monday’s vigorous wash, crying tears of exhausted tumbling, and laid dry and corse by Tuesdays drying, worn out from endless cycling.

And, on Wednesdays, she irons it, smooth and flat.

Presses my time so that there is the farthest flat space from one end to another. Granted, there are no hills or valleys to hurt my calves. But never the less, those wrinkles save me time. Wrinkled time is the shortest count down. So this ironing of my days leaves my time pressed unfortunately.

But, I think, on Thursdays, she folds. Her hands are probably strong and deft.

Plucking up on piece in ten minutes and bringing it close to a piece in a few hours, so that I rush through space skipping time outright.

It is as if I fly across the peaks between, seeing nothing of the passage.

She mends the damage on Fridays. It probably takes her three days to set it soft and whole again.

And I think she smiles as she smooths my folded week of time, picking lint off of Wednesday morning and sewing the rip in Monday afternoon.

It goes on the shelf next to the others. She is probably too short to reach and must get an old worn stool to stand on.

It goes next to last week, in the space before next. All with neat tags of the price I owe for such services.

But I think, the woman frowns as she studies the seemingly endless rows of folded time that belong only to me, knowing I will never come to pick them up.


The Beating Heart

Just read this to the rhythm of your heart beating.
Thump, thump. Thump, thump.

breathe in

it’s peace

that fills

your lungs

breathe out

it’s war

that pumps

your blood

stand up

it’s guts

that hold

your frame

break down

it’s fear

that moves

your limbs

fists clenched

it’s hope

that’s trained

your thoughts

give in

your hope

is not


shut up

it’s dumb

to part

your lips

bare teeth

they’re lies

that make

you live

open eyes

it’s life

that wakes

your time

close eyes

it’s death

that lives

your life

Super rough because I have to go study for Biology now, but I wanted to get something written down before I forgot.


Poetry is Better than Music

I had to make a poem fast.

Not the best but "that'll do, pig. that'll do".

the onion skin broke

cracking and peeling in useless


like so many hands of the fated


the skin ripped wide and chided

it's children

who lived and liked to cause

such chaos

it fell away to reveal the next

dead layer

of cells, tumultuously to molt

we had not killed it

it was already dead



these wings are words that whisper wonderingly through me

wander thoughts of thoughtless beginnings and fabling fibs to tell a lie

rip right out my back in breaking painful price of giving up oneself to the sky

my bloodless body is a candy-colored corpse hanging thin and fumbling from textual lines left behind

swing me from the simple stars this celestial print projection and leaving me waning under the moon’s face

sending lacy ink like water to reach round my back and through to the heart

like blackened wilting webs they hold me as a marionette wobbling in the wind of marginal space

gossamer feathers spiky and soft with warmth

they slash the open page with loving feather fingers wash with cruel wanderings

cut the cords that carry me, these lines that want to string my things

and when the wished-for punctuation crashes to closing it works its wonder on my will

i drop, the warm longing of painful loving leaves me

without the want of need like water in the veins

i fall, alone without the agonized torment of driving destruction

without the wretched wrong of giving half and more to the hateful heavens

i collapse, without the strings of alphabet soup that flow from my fingers into those that pull me

without the rivers of ink that itch beneath skin until they are born free

i die


The Space Pirate

The exile star fields open up to him, a star-chain like hanging doorknobs in the voided sea. Through the undarkness, the pirate watches with cunning, moony eyes, wondering if his captain-prey knows the captain-law: stoic face and steer forward. Never look back or face the spiraling void.

Fire at whim, flip-turns in his mind as he gives chase. Run couple of stolen moments, he thinks.

His ship, a blackbird in space, lost to the eye. His crew, betwixt dark and bright.

And then, the breaching moment. From tale-ward comes the pirate-predator.

He smiles, knowing hope, in its endless fragility, is breakable as bones.

They plunder, there on the shadow-edge. One voyage, shipwrecked. It is the unmaking time. Fate intervenes in Destiny.

We are the spiraling void. And man in void, falls.

The point here was to use under 140 words.


One Word

There's a site called oneword.com where you have a set time limit to write about a set word. It's a brilliant exercise or working on flow and tone, for finding inspiration and destroying writer's block. I usually do two for each word. Here are some of my own one word creations:

She fell from the branch to which she’d desperately clung, arms flailing in desperate bid for purchase. But no, her attempts were fragile and frail. That which was lost faded high away like dots in the distance. Faces of the leaving went quickly by and the below rose up with sharp fists to clutch at her broken body. She had not learned to run.

It is a crash of rifting flesh like melting without the fragility. I break like breaking bones, unrepeatable. This is the rub of unending, just let me stop. Cease. It is never to end this pain.

Beneath the spool under a table in a small indentation in Ms. Jordan’s dingy home on the corner of Fifth and Crescent Street lived a family of five mice. The smallest slept always in the bundle of pooling thread that spilled over in turquoise blue masses. Their parents, small round mice with graying hair, made a sort of bed out of cotton balls but somehow always awoke with little thread fibers in their mouths. The oldest child slept on the next biggest mound of warm, soft thread. And the middle child slept on the hammock like sling beneath the two.

The piece that goes through the eye unwillingly, fraying until unusable and tossed aside. That which makes the needle tool rather than weapon. That which makes pictures of texture and color.

Meaning to escape but forgetting the avenue even though twenty are open in the hedges. She streams forth blindly scrambling, nails scratch at latches and lost forever. Void. Fear. She knows his name. He leads her on and away and alone. Isolation.

He sat in the coil. Mortally wounded, his flesh fell out upon the earth, creating existence. His cells became persons who wandered and walked in their consciousness derived from his own membranous thoughts. They were one with him in his mortal wounds, his mortal peril, his broken, dying, immortality. They were his life force and they stole it away.

She existed between moments, breathing in the held breaths to try and capture attention. The glint of the eye, the flick of a wrist. She watched the things that make us human and longed to become as one. it is without permission that humanity begins unshakable and determined. Though that is a fabrication of human ego. She waited between moments with all the other corpses, the children, the infants, those who sat on eager edges for life to let them in.

As you can see, some are rough, but devoid of the words which inspired them, they take on entirely new meanings.


Mother's Foundling

Mother studied the still white figure. A child, no a teenage girl, lay bathed in the hues of night. Mother had not realized that the child was not a child. She wondered what made the child so innocent.
Honey hair spilled around her as she lay peaceful in the cold grass. Shadow things made lines across her pale, soft face. Relaxed as if asleep. But, no, the innocence lay in the whites.
Those orbs were like moons in the vague darkness, white parts glistening hazily. Staring. Her eyes reflected the sky, the mirror earth, the longing flight of ghostly stars. Staring.
One ivory palm faced up, as if in religious meditation. As if by benediction or rapture.Vulnerable to the chastising sky.
Mother thought with approval that perhaps she had given herself over to the clawing tears, sat cross-legged, back arched down with sobs that fell into open palms. Sacrificial pools offered to the stars.
The other hand faced down, claws digging into the earth to feel the pulse that beat there. Talons scratching deep in effort to hold still the spinning of physical time. A visible proof of life’s fated will.
Mother read in that hand, that coalition of muscle and thought, the sound of gasping for breath. Mother loved that hand.
Mother observed the way the child lay, exquisitely perched on the skewer of mortal earth. Body held taught yet quiet on invisible tight rope. Knees bent as if fallen backward from begging or prayer. Though Mother hardly knew the difference.
The tree shadows scraped wickedly at her edges, making them soft and transient. It was in mimicry of her current nature.
Mother knelt to touch the honey hair that spilt all around, combed with evening dew. Her eyes traveled the human length to the child’s feet. One pointed precisely as a ballerina’s. It’s tenseness in contrast to the body’s will.
The other clumsily upturned, almost grotesque.
This child had lived too gently in the in between until the reckoning moment.
And the poor child’s white dress was smeared with dirt and water, touched by earth’s sullying hands. She lay spoiled beneath the pure, pure sky.
Mother stepped away, dusting her hands of the sky’s child. Or what had once been.
And so Mother turned.
Mother did not need another body. She already held too many in her womb.
And so Mother walked.
Leaving the corpse behind.



With Your Permission

As the sun, a frugal being, stretched the shadow material until it frayed at the edges of the room and in the corners and the slow motions of such careful artistry caused time’s passage to slow into a muddling trap, Aberforth, abandoning good posture to lounge on the living room’s singular green ottoman, cared little for time’s tedious movement, being only a cat, and minded not whether the world continued on or ceased, for cats are notorious in their apathy, so the world could end quite suddenly in this twilight time and Aberforth would notice but not fret (cats always notice but do not as frequently deign to show their attention), as he was quite content in his half-slumber, not truly worrying after the fate of the world, simply lazing and thus giving time like permission (even the sun needs a cat’s permission to make its rounds in the sky).

*A single sentence story for a writing competition, inspired by my cat, Aberforth.*


The Blackbird and the Beetles

Maybe I’ve had my share of freedom
Said the blackbird to the sky
To each his own pale misery
The sullen night replied
Then take my wings, now golden chains
The once proud blackbird cried
Burst forth the sun with wings of flame
And through the night took flight
And in this way for all a day
The once proud blackbird dies

The hopeful stars looked down in quiet sympathy
Their silver song no match for jewel bright tyranny
Night blocked out by light is an easy eulogy
The glimmer lights of pinprick stars
Dead to gloryless featherby

The wingless blackbird then commenced
With doing earthly things
Like beetles do when blinded
By their own bright shiny wings
When in hopeless resignation
The clever bird did sing

And like all birds in cages
Though voiced less so proficient
The rogue bird’s beak was sharpened
By flightless indignation
And then the beetles saw what
Was kept for sheer omission
That all birds’ beaks are sharper
Than a beetle’s indecision


Street Diving

Has anyone else ever been dive bombed by a spastic bird? Happens to me all the time Ah, the joys of Spring.

Bird Poem 3 (This is hot off the presses. Fresh, fresh, fresher than anything else I've posted recently.):

Road divers that dip
Flapping down in spastic
Frantic hilarity of feathers
From tight ropes strung above like
Seating for the audience to the show
Laughing in chirpy song
To the rhythmic beat of practical jokers
In the fresh born sun to tread
Dangerously before great beasts
These small, affectionate miscreants
With their shrill, cackling dance



Hey there, all. Spring is here but not with golden lilies with delicate frilled petals, not with robin's eggs blue like the sky. Spring here has come in a torrential downpour, a grand entrance of gusty air and slamming water. That which has always approached subtle and soft, like pastel marshmallow rabbits, now cries and sobs a tantrum in greeting.
And I say, hello spring, I'm much happier to meet you than last year.

Bird Poem 2:
(I swear it really was bird inspired. It actually went along with yesterday's poem originally.)

This sea of masks it teems
His sacrifice it seems
Not deep enough to feel
Beneath the skin
Imprisoned and in pain
By the stain of the refrain
Sing circular rhythm of a sin
Still dropping from the flight
In following with the fight
the broken wings creating spin
In the end of it he stays
In waiting for the day
In which the ending begs to begin


Welcome, Spring

It's been a while. I'm happy. Such a simple phrase, and yet so hard to make true. Today isn't the day to bore with my story, but here's the beginning of a series of bird related poems to welcome in the robin's spring.

They're really different then usual; I was trying to rhyme.

Catch a falling robin
In a net of contrived tears
And place it in a cage
of displaced hearts
then catch a falling lark
and put it in a locket
to beat away the years
beside your heart
catch a falling jay
control it ‘til tomorrow
a warbled lie
to never fall apart
and catch a falling crow
imprisoned with a smile
until the grayest day
to stay the start