As some of my readers may or may not know my first official publication came as a poet and poetry is and always will be my first love.  Poetry transends time and boundries, religious beliefs, political views, wealth and poverty, affairs of the heart and the hopes and dreams of the soul.  From bottle-necked drunkards and wastrels bemoaning their lives to teenage angst to the expression of loss or the abysmal upbringing of loners, drifters and ramshackle survivors who have clawed their way from the gutter with nothing but the memory of their last high; needle still stuck in their arm while they pray to some vague and distant memory of a God they barely recall -- Poetry moves us - relates to us on some distant level.

The following are a few that have captured my attention.  A few of my favorites and a few that I've written or wished that I wrote.  The rest are left for you to sort out the details of -- within or without.



lonely as a dry and used orchard

spread over the earth

for use and surrender.

shot down like an ex-pug selling

dailies on the corner.

taken by tears like

an aging chorus girl

who has gotten her last check.

a hanky is in order your lord your


the blackbirds are rough today


ingrown toenails

in an overnight


wine wine whine,

the blackbirds run around and

fly around

harping about

Spanish melodies and bones.

and everywhere is


the dream is as bad as

flapjacks and flat tires:

why do we go on

with our minds and

pockets full of


like a bad boy just out of


you tell


you who were a hero in some


you who teach children

you who drink with calmness

you who own large homes

and walk in gardens

you who have killed a man and own a

beautiful wife

you tell me

why I am on fire like old dry


we might surely have some interesting


it will keep the mailman busy.

and the butterflies and ants and bridges and


the rocket-makers and dogs and garage mechanics

will still go on a


until we run out of stamps



don't be ashamed of

anything; I guess God meant it all


locks on


"The Blackbirds are Rough Today" Copyright 1988 by Charles Bukowski.

On Turning Ten - Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel

like I'm coming down with something,

something worse than any stomach ache

or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--

a kind of measles of the spirit,

a mumps of the psyche,

a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,

but that is because you have forgotten

the perfect simplicity of being one

and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.

But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.

At four I was an Arabian wizard.

I could make myself invisible

by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.

At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window

watching the late afternoon light.

Back then it never fell so solemnly

against the side of my tree house,

and my bicycle never leaned against the garage

as it does today,

all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,

as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.

It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,

time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe

there was nothing under my skin but light.

If you cut me I could shine.

But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,

I skin my knees. I bleed.

Included in the book, Sailing Around the Room: New and Selected Poems.

Sentences - Arthur Rimbaud - Illuminations

When the world is reduced to a single dark wood for our four eyes' astonishment, - a beach for two faithful children, - a musical house for one pure sympathy, - I shall find you.

Should there be here below but a single old man, handsome and calm in the midst of "incredible luxury", I shall be at your feet.

Should I have realized all your memories, - should I be the one who can bind you hand and foot, - I shall strangle you.


When we are very strong, - who draws back? very gay, - who cares for ridicule? When we are very bad, - what would they do with us.

Deck yourself, dance, laugh, - I could never throw Love out of the window.


- My comrade, beggar girl, monster child! O it's all one to you these unhappy women, these wiles, and my discomfiture. Bind yourself to us with your impossible voice, your voice! sole soother of this vile despair.

The Children's Hour - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,

When the night is beginning to lower,

Comes a pause in the day's occupations,

That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me

The patter of little feet,

The sound of a door that is opened,

And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,

Descending the broad hall stair,

Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,

And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:

Yet I know by their merry eyes

They are plotting and planning together

To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,

A sudden raid from the hall!

By three doors left unguarded

They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret

O'er the arms and back of my chair;

If I try to escape, they surround me;

They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,

Their arms about me entwine,

Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen

In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,

Because you have scaled the wall,

Such an old mustache as I am

Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,

And will not let you depart,

But put you down into the dungeon

In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,

Yes, forever and a day,

Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,

And moulder in dust away!

Mind Mutations - A Collection
Copyright 2005 K. A. M’Lady
The Sun Rising Poetry Press
All Rights Reserved

Temporary sanity - K.A. M'Lady

You slept on in the un-made bed

dreaming of elk and forested places,

six o'clock sunrises, peat moss

And the simple way the leaves sigh

in an over-head ceiling of light.

I envy you the quiet,

the lessoning of weight

on bones weighed down by worry,

the ease of shuddered breathing

let loose like straight-line winds.

You spoke in groggy whispers,

of images mingling in the foggy haze

of your transported dreamland;

you spoke of Buddha, 57 Chevy's,

and how the sun settles on the river

in slanted shades of cocoa-green.

Your face was placid in its surrender,

peaceful with the glint of cherubs,

and for one moment,

I forgave you everything.

Cathleen Calbert - Death Goes Mad

Death Goes Mad

It began with little things:

sparrows whispered secrets

into his invisible ear,

how vile they found earthworms,

how their songs were screams.

Then the thing with the shoes.

Left was right,

right left.

He thought his breath

smelled like cigarettes,

like stale putty,

like a donkey’s ass:

shit, shit, shit


he went in this world.

Death checked himself in

to Our Lady of Mercy.

He had a full work-up.

The shrinks said, Borderline Personality.

He couldn’t distinguish himself

from someone else

(became fused, they said,

with every new lover).

Was Death psychotic?

Just another neurotic?

In love with his mother’s darkness?

(Death’s mom was long dead,

his dad unreachable in heaven.)

It’s always difficult

to say in these matters,

so they jolted his brain

with bolts of blue juice

and gave him milk toast

in whitewashed mornings.

They put him on Zoloft,

Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Well-Butrin.

He might be left, they said, with a wet noodle.

But Death always could get a hard-on.

That was never his problem.

They told Death,

Today is the first day

of the rest of your life.

They told Death,

You design your own destiny.

They asked Death if he had any hobbies.

Hobbies? Death said.

They suggested he take up

knitting, sewing, crocheting.

Before his release, Death stenciled

Stars and a Crescent Moon

Stars and a Crescent Moon

Stars and a Crescent Moon

all over the hospital walls.

Shaken and bruised,

he lay off the sauce

and stuck to a regimen

of barley water

and vitamin supplements.

The birds no longer said anything

he thought worth hearing.

His bony feet fell

into the right right,

the right left.

Though still down in the mouth,

Death threw himself

into his work

at night when the lights are low and the traffic is a soft lull in the deepest hour of the night, and your heart feels that first even beat of peace....

Montana - David Krump

Copyright © 2005


Montana, I wanted to say, Montana,

you are futile and beautiful

or was it you are futile in your beauty?

But I open my mouth on the dark train

and my words shake out all over like little salts.

Someone should say something like

look there through the fast train’s window

passing west. Look. That’s me looking out

at the bones of a town. On Skeleton Avenue

Go Tigers! someone has enthusiastically painted in red

on the front of their house. Yes, go, Tigers, and

take the little pretty ones and make them into stars.

Teach them to hunt the higher plains,

the steppes of breaking fists in wind.

Teach us all to be civilized warriors again.


Montana, in all my dreams, is wind, is void,

is a videogame I cannot defeat. Montana,

my little brothers know the button patterns

to your secret codes, ways you send

the scending sun away, but I know your

Montana heart is America

and it has two small veins like lanes

and it has eyes of widow and it has

sky falling dark and it has here a wolf

there a wolf and it has world’s largest moon

I see before us it has parts and particles

bleeding back to the place of fire.

Unghost town, empty attic of America,

space of hard longing.


Sharp Cutbank, bright Whitefish,

what will become of us?

Montana— 1 2 3

4 5 6 —Montana, I can still see you.

Last night my soul smelled

only of fire, but

this morning I think

a bit Montana.

Beginning to think:

the pilgrimage

is more important

than the pilgrim

or that the holy place

is holy only because Montana.

So for the weeping pilgrim

bleeding inside

is no less natural

than at the knees.

And so for me and you,

Montana, we keep growing

all these abiding memories

we cannot hide.

The Blue Terrance - Terrance Hayes

I come from a long line hollowed out on a dry night,

the first son in a line of someone else's children,

afraid of water, closets, other people's weapons,

hunger and stupidity, afraid of the elderly and the new dead,

bodies tanned by lightening, afraid of dogs without ethos,

each white fang on the long walk home. I believe all the stories

of who I was: a hardback book, a tent behind the house

of a grandmother who was not my grandmother, the smell of beer,

which is a smell like sweat. They say I climbed to the roof

with a box of light bulbs beneath my arm. Before the bricks,

there were trees, before the trees, there were lovers

barely rooted to the field, but let's not talk about them,

it makes me blue. I come from boys throwing rocks

bigger than their fists at the head of the burned girl,

her white legs webbed as lace on a doily. In someone's garage

there was a flashlight on two dogs pinched in heat.

And later, a few of the puppies born dead and too small

to be missed. I come from howls sent up all night and all day,

summers below the hoop and board nailed to a pine tree.

I come from light bulbs glowing with no light and no expressions,

thrown as far as the will allows like a night chore, like a god

changing his mind; from the light broken on the black road

leading to my mother. Tell me what you remember of her

now that her walk is old, now that the bone in her hip strains

to heal its fracture? I come from the hot season

gathering its things and leaving. I come from the dirt road

leading to the paved one. I will not return to the earth

as if I had never been born. I will not wait to become a bird

dark enough to bury itself in midair. I wake up sometimes

in the middle of the country with fur on my neck.

Where did they bury my dog after she hung herself,

and into the roots of what tree are those bones entangled?

I come blessed like a river of black rock, like a long secret,

and the kind of kindness like a door that is closed

but not locked. Yesterday I was nothing but a road

heading four ways. When I threatened to runaway

my mother said she would take me where ever I wanted to go.

Tiny Acoustic Guitars

Mary Donnelly

Because I never would fell the giant

I offered him candy.

I offered him the latest returns

from our recent municipal elections.

And as the candidates of giants

always win,

he was smugly satisfied.

I offered him fur shoes,

a cloud in which to be absorbed

and float above the fences

with his smirking giant friends.

I only asked that he leave us alone

with our dog hair forests

and their sexy puckered skins,

with our floppy little matchboxes

in which at night we sleep,

on which by day we protest

GROVE © by Patricia Clark

Growing alongside each other at the low place

that often floods, the vulnerable spot

where water from the lagoon slips out

to meet the river, trees grip the trapezoid

of ground with riverwater moving

past, sinuously, to fill the pond. Between

the curve of bank and the road, they stand

grouped and also solitary, a gray,

spindly lot with deeply-furrowed bark,

two dozen or so of the fast-growing cottonwoods.

If the stories are true, of people

being tied to trees along rivers in another

country, people who were sick in their minds,

would the sounds here be enough

to soothe anyone ill? Or would they need

more rapidly falling water, gallons that pour

from pools thick with the shadows

of pike, or water chunked and grinding

with ice? When river-sounds wash over me

like the sounds of leaves, that blue-

green deciduous murmur, I could lie down here

on a blanket dappled by clouds, reverting

to childhood, or dream of last fall

ankle deep in leaves, when I envisioned

a dress knitted together from the delta shapes

of cottonwood leaves. Wearing it, I'd be

the trunk of a swaying thing, half-tree,

half-woman, leaf color changing day-to-day,

mood-to-mood, river stories of the past

soaking into me as the moisture wicks up

into the cottonwoods, how the hardwoods were felled

here, branded, floated down to mills or

set afire for potash, and riverboats churned

the waters with people singing on a summer day,

one couple clambering ashore to sit,

then sleep, leaning against a tree-trunk.

Old photographs show the so-called river-rat men

in vests, in hats, balancing on rafts of logs,

or next to literal mountains of trees in piles,

horses, sleds, and men dwarfed and looking straight

ahead, proud, somehow, that they could

destroy so much. By 1900, all the trees

were gone. The slate water takes on a grave-

stone gray, rushing toward the dam.

Nearby, if you listen with care, near dusk—

you'll hear alone the kingfisher's rattling cry,

before it plunges twenty feet straight

down, the water parting clean as bone.

The Eater of Grass
by Jada Ach

I know the essence of soil:

how it waxes the gums and

caulks between teeth, how

it tastes like the green lingering

of the almost-dead –

because on that day when they

held out my arms like wings,

like Jesus, and showed me what

lust could do when aided by

force, I felt like Malinche

receiving the sex of Cortés,

tenderly and almost willingly –

and I marveled at how the layers,

rich hues of brown antiquity,

could erode and dissolve inside of me


When I flipped on the power

the impression of a miraculous intervention

was an unfortunate and immediate side-effect,

causing my defenses to crash and your resistance

to plummet. I’m sorry. What you experienced was merely

the silo door opening, the grain spilling out, the hatchling

taking its first ever breath. Tonight would’ve been

our celebration of the fluttering mixed signals.

I’d have worn my reticular tie, and you

your numerous powders. All the misery between

us would’ve dissolved in the strobe lights,

my breath on your furnace, your fork

in my socket. If only we had understood

the new system sooner. How under the new system

there’s a new system. And how under the newer system,

a flock of geese comes between us, then a mobile home,

a tomahawk… both of us ashamed in the morning.

Postcard of Two Birds, Scattered Feathers By Idra Novey

Here’s a pre-story: a copse of sycamores,

two larks. Something on the verge

of altering. One bird

hyphens between branches, all instinct

and wing, while the other

smaller one (we’ll call her she) remains

motionless, passing for tree trunk,

the ochre of bark. But the larger (our he)

has already seen her, and glides eagerly

to her bough. Their shadows merge,

a blur of wings, then separate

as swiftly, six wispy feathers

spinning to the ground--the upholstery

of mercy. Above: two birds again, in flight.

something blue

after C.

she said I’d know a mother’s suffering;

heartbreak spoken as a death bed prophesy,

I didn’t understand until this moment,

walking through memories tied to my empty

womb, an appendage I didn’t think I’d miss

until this moment, a heartbeat I never knew

as my own, but I recall those small moments

when I held you, fragile and impressionable,

wide-eye and full of hope, but life has a way of

interrupting, scavenging possibilities wrapped in

someone else’s clothes; truths spill from garbage lips

and sewer throats and nothing but the rot of what once

was an ordinary life becomes an even bigger travesty for

nothing remains but emptiness in the shattered,

lonely places we each once described as home

K.A. M’Lady