Day 11 #NPM15 – Basic training

Green rank and file

in ragged formation—

tomato seedlings.

Tomato seedlings and two chickens

Tomato seedlings and two chickens


Today’s prompt for a season poem came from Poetic Asides. As you can tell, we are moving into tomato season! The seeds start out in little containers under lights in the garage. When they get big enough and the weather gets nice enough, they come outside to harden off before moving into bigger pots and eventually (some of them) into the ground. (Anne, right, and Margaret are on their way to the herb garden for a little dust bath. The love to loll in the warm dirt.)

Shoes in the airport and other observations

espadrilles, slingbacks, Birkenstocks, heels

flip-flops thwapping, wedges clapping

thick rubber soles for those always standing

slip-ons to slide through security


neon yellow sneakers

preppie red topsiders

denim blue nubucks

green Nikes, green shirt, green hair


lace-up boots and a beret

cowboy boots and a mini

calf-high boots and a scarf

army boots and a mission


strollers with little feet dangling

strawberry ankle-strap sandals

tiger-face rollerbag

floppy grimy duck


flight attendant’s skirt so tight her pockets gape

lumpy teen’s shorts so short her undies show

obese woman’s wheelchair braced like a baggage cart

mama’s tight pants with a belly bulging out


mirrored sunglasses slung backward from the ears

uniforms of khakis and polos and backpacks

Bluetooth headset, Blackberry clipped to the belt

hard-soled, long-toed, Italian leather loafers


(click, click, click)


all of us pieces of ego and oddness

and still somebody claims us


Harry Burns: You take someone to the airport, it’s clearly the beginning of the relationship. That’s why I have never taken anyone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.
Sally Albright: Why?
Harry Burns: Because eventually things move on and you don’t take someone to the airport and I never wanted anyone to say to me, How come you never take me to the airport anymore?
Sally Albright: It’s amazing. You look like a normal person, but actually you are the angel of death. (When Harry Met Sally)


Red robin, green zebra, and summertime gold

rain from the garden.  The counter

is drenched. They keep

pouring in to join,

down in the freezer,

all manner of sauces and soups put up

over summer to winter us through,

me and my ‘mater man.


For Margo Roby’s Tuesday Tryouts, I tried a sentence acrostic.  With apologies to Peter Gabriel. 🙂

Independence Day

Sparklers flaring

A burn on my arm

I stick with snakes

for years after that


Breakfast at Wimbledon

Glorious Sundays when

American gents have

tussled before Brits


Fire truck siren

circles the park

leading a parade of

crêpe paper spokes


Capitol lawn

sprawled with Riesling

Stars & Stripes

(and traffic) Forever


Miniature flags

in pots on the porch

Red, white and blue

We’re home, We’re free


A “list” poem, prompted by Margo Roby. Thanks, Margo!

Des Moines, Summer 1993

The summer of hot rain

ran May to September.

After undue autumn showers,

ample winter snow, and

persistent spring storms,

we nearly drowned in July.


The river quivered, surface

tension pushed to its limit,

meniscus ready to burst…


then the torrent…


crossing roads, filling gullies and ditches,

rising to the water works.


despite the sandbags and levees.


Skeleton crews staffed airless

downtown offices, queued for

port-a-potties on the streets.

The true beginning of

business casual.


The sporadic stream

at the bottom of our yard

never dried up. Dogs

tracked in mud



Stuck inside, no summer in sight.


We craved sunshine.

We craved vitamin D.

We craved vitamin F (friends)

and C (cookouts)

and L (laughter).


We craved the nutrients we lacked.