The Cypresses of Delirium

Through silken waters
My gondola glides—
And the bridge… it sighs
Bryan Ferry

Oh for Transcendence to sit on my face
Refreshing my vision with her pure grace.
For that bright vista I’d gladly go blind
Beholding her glory: my daily grind.
I’ll talk to her forests in feline tongues,
Mouth-to-mouth lip service, heart, soul and lungs.
Tropical therapy; her countryside
Where medicinal landscapes open wide…
Then poling my gondola into port
On the waterway of love’s last resort.



PROMPT 27: write your own poem titled The ________ of ________,
where the first blank is a very particular kind of plant or animal,
and the second blank is an abstract noun.


Cargo Cult

Big man him return soon-soon

Arrive iron flying house wing-wing from sky

Great man him USA bring big gun make fire-fire every village

All bad man them punish red-white-blue magic heaven cloth

Him business suit holy roller CIA cut down jungle

Teach fake Jesus make rich-rich many pig many feast

Teach all man money-money

Bringee iPhone 14 big-big tablet great magic picture-box

Many bead many mirror big candy

Firewater sweet-sweet MarlboroBudweiser

Bringee dollar bringee big food:


Makee island shopping mall many-many

Our people happy fat-fat many big gun

Big medicine make more baby

Now happy island sing big Amerika song-song

All village wait AmerikaUSA return come back

Amerika come again soon-soon



Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form.

Hateful Brews

:  write a poem that takes as its starting point something overheard

Purple-haired woman: your robes look totally stupid and you’re blocking the sidewalk—by the way this is hate speech you know

Hebrew Israelite king: Brother Judah ben Judah, read the scriptures to this Edomite lady.

Strange brew, kill what’s inside of you . .. 

Surrounded by militant forms of Dumb;
To whose next rage must we succumb?
What ethnic-racial god of wrath
Will plunge us in his bloody bath
And wash foul whiteness from our souls
To further dimwit madmen’s goals?
YaHuWaHusha (hashtag #hate)
Has henchmen waiting at the gate
Misquoting scriptures, twisting phrases
Forcing words to march through mazes,
Quite assured they possess the key
To set their dark asylum free.
Babylon’s falling. Drain the cup.
Will the real Judah please stand up?
Crowns, purple aprons, boots on feet
Wash brains in scripture. Rinse. Repeat.
Their mind a concentration camp,
Hateful doctrines burn: their lamp
Now flickers, low on Israel-light.
God’s thugs are looking for a fight—
Whoever they hate is a Canaanite.

Risible Haiku / Selvas de Santana


The shooter enters:
Deadly earnest in resolve.
Laugh heartily, friends.



write a poem in which laughter comes at what might otherwise seem an inappropriate moment –
or one that the poem invites the reader to think of as inappropriate.
O.K. I did the prompt.  Now here is one I had in my drafts:

Selvas de Santana

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
 . . . Be ye therefore wise as serpents,
       and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16

Eternal in divine recurrence,
Wisdom summons to her feast.
Harmless dove as wise as serpents;
Meets the singing crying beast.

Rhythmic vision’s dark assurance
Made symbolically complete.
Borne upon upon nocturnal currents:
Comes the undulating  beat:

Fabulous jungles of her love
Are glimpsed—as apes, excited, howl.
Dazzling plumage from above:
Cloudbursts startle tropical fowl.

I wait, that white Abraxas dove,
Poised in delight before her gate
And ready to partake thereof,
Entranced in wild hypnotic state.

Now metaphor’s dark humid heat
Is loosed with her cascade of hair.
Black magic beckons:  Take and eat.
That all taboo may tremble there.

Red chiles drying in the sun
Distill the thatched-roof village fire.
Rhythm’s laughing children run
Then plunge in pools of pure desire.

IMAGE CREDIT: Annunciation