Day 20 – Midwatch Apology


Midwatch Apology

Sir, so sorry for my outburst.

Unprofessional, no excuses.

But with good reason, you see…


I was training the new transfer on radar.

I explained weapons-lock on primary…

He told me his spirit-guide was the wolf.


I dunno, sir. Seemed like personal shit to me.

But I moved on, described secondary lock…

And crows tell him when his lady wants to talk.


Now that’s just damned peculiar, sir, isn’t it?

I’m not one to poo-poo First Nation Mystics…

But a lady usually wants to holla at her man, right?


I mean, isn’t that true, like ninety-percent or so?

If someone needs a crow reminding him to-

I’m sorry, sir. Way off topic. Not my concern.


So I showed him how to use track-while-scan

to keep tabs on surface contacts to take with guns…

He told me he had a six-and-a-half-inch long penis.


Hell fuckin’ naw I didn’t ask about his schlong!


Sorry, I mean. No sir. I didn’t wanna know.

I never wanted to know about any man’s tackle-box.

He just volunteered that shit, like it was normal.


Like he was proud of his little bishop or somethin’.

Like that’s some shit you tell a shipmate

who’s trying to train you to help defend the ship.


Anyway, I guess that was my breaking point, sir.

That’s why I shouted, “Aw HELLLLL naw!”

and asked to be relieved of watch for a few minutes.


Sir, so sorry for my outburst.

Unprofessional, no excuses.

But with all respect, sir,


please instruct the first-class petty officer

to refrain from discussing his girlfriend,

his spirit animals, or his sad little rudder


while the second-class petty officer trains him

to operate the weapons control console

so the Lone Wolf can qualify for the midwatch.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads prompt involving a crow, or crows. I’m not sharing it there though, as this poem-a-day thing is really kicking my ass and I don’t have time to enjoy others’ poems as much as I’d like.  

I’m sad to say, this was inspired by actual events. I… should probably see a therapist.


Day 19 – Nature of Our Cosmos


Nature of Our Cosmos


Each day

I pass

the Russian woman.

She never acknowledges me,

except for a rare annoyed scowl,

annoyed at my interruption of her

spirited debate with

nobody, her glare

fixated on a

specific corner

of nothing.


In the beginning,

there was nothing;

no God, no Devil,

no good, no evil,

no free love, no mass-murder,

no sailing ships, no rocket ships, no spy satellites,

no chocolate, no truth, no lies, no bigotry,

no chicken soup, no science, no poetry,

no gas giants, not even a single molecule.


Each day I pass the Russian woman

talking to trace molecules of barely nothing.

Some days her tone is soft, conciliatory,

other days, defiant, demanding.

I can’t see who she’s speaking to, but

part of me hopes she wins the argument.



makes the airtight

argument that Cosmos

was birthed from a bang long ago,

but shrugs when asked what came before

the cosmos, why She came

to be, what’s Her


where’s the

verse preceding

Her, what entity or

mechanism banged Her into



The Cosmos exists.

She has amnesia.


The Cosmos birthed herself with a big bang,

all the energy that ever was

or ever will be

was dispersed,

filling the void with Her molecules,

seeding Her realm with energy, matter,

and later,

something called life; Her messengers

and investigators scattered

to every corner of the firmament.


Finite in nature,

the end of life

is not the end.


Matter that was life returns to Her,

having never left Her;

the energy fueling life’s soul

returns to Her collective,

helping Her piece

the puzzle together.


The Cosmos exists.

She is learning about herself.


Select few lifeforms are born with

more pieces of the puzzle than average.

They are typically persecuted,


just before they can share this knowledge

with the willfully sightless.


Some become enlightened all at once,

stepping across the ethereal plain,

gasping in wonder

taking their secrets

directly back to Her.


Others become enlightened,

but stubbornly refuse to cross over,

instead opting to address Her directly,

ignoring those without vision,

knowing we lack the knowing,

the dimension of perception required

to convene with Her.


The Cosmos exists.

She is a Russian woman

holding communion with Her nature.

** *

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 19 optional prompt: write a poem that recounts a creation myth. This is my creation myth.



Day 18 – Greetings from Blessing My Heart after Your Betrayal


Greetings from Blessing My Heart after Your Betrayal

Hi you, grinning with gentle malice

Vile intentions known, veiled thinly

Hiding behind wide-eyed finnocence

And letter of the law, perverted


Sup, you, symphonic syphilitic cynic conductor

I’m compelled to commendtalieate

Impressed, I will pat your twisted back

Before kicking you down the fucking stairs

** *

Written for NaPoWriMo’s optional day 18 prompt: neologisms (made-up words) and dVerse Tuesday Poetics: Wish you were here. (postcard prompt). Let’s just say that I’ve had to deal with some interesting personalities recently.

Drop by and check out everyone’s contributions to this prompt.



Day 17 – Maritime Confrontation


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Maritime Confrontation

“Be careful,” my Workcenter Supervisor cautioned me before removing the cover to the seawater strainer. Training had begun on what was to be a monthly task in maintaining the ship radar’s heat-exchanger. Steve was stepping me through the process for the first time, cautioning me against the possibility of a poisonous sea snake popping out the strainer, biting me, liquifying my heart, making my blood boil, and writing a swastika on my lifeless forehead. (I may have imagined a few sea snake tendencies.) After I undid the last bolt, Steve slowly removed the lid. “Oh cool!” he exclaimed. “A tiny crab! Look, Barry!” On-cue, out popped a four-inch crab, claws brandished aggressively.

Fear is my lifelong companion. I don’t overcome it as much as I learn to live with it. My earliest memories involve being afraid. Of the dark. Of being different. Of being the same. Afraid of being teased for being afraid. Of the inevitable violence married to racism. Of getting my ass whupped over bad report cards. Afraid of dad beating mom. Of mom nearly killing dad. Of dad leaving and never coming back. Of mom nearly killing me. Of nearly being killed in gang-fight crossfire. Of mom nearly killing my brother. Of possibly being killed during nearly every pointless police shakedown for “fitting the description”. Afraid of failing. Of not trying. Of not being strong enough for Navy boot camp. Of drowning. Afraid of possibly becoming an addict like dad. Of possibly being a schizophrenic like mom. Of failing my wife and kids. Afraid of being exposed as a pointless muthaphucka with nothing substantial in my soul worth sharing.

But none of my fears prepared me for squaring off against a four-inch crab angrily defending his new saltwater strainer home.

“Aw HELLLLLLL naw!!!” I wailed, wheeling around, tearing through the hatch, through the junior-officer jungle, my slipstream waking the ensigns, narrowly avoiding turning my division officer into a speedbump, out the exit hatch, trying to control my rapid breathing, hearing my bemused Div-O ask Steve, “What the fuck was that all about?!?” which, after a beat, was followed by uproarious laughter.

The navy trained me to rely on my training when confronting fear, but my hilarious fight-or-flight antics must’ve hit Steve square in his empathy chip. He never even tried to assign me strainer duty again after that. And hell naw, I sure as shit never brought it up.

And crabs are delicious. Except for when they’re alive. And bite-sized.

the sea gently rocks

I breathe in her promises

centered and focused

** *

Written for dVerse Haibun Monday: The only thing we have to fear… hosted by Toni Spencer (kanzensakura, hayesspencer). Drop by and check out everyone’s contributions to this prompt.


Day 16 – Backyard Conversations


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Backyard Conversations

And we’re climbing, growing, in nature

Within her bosom we blossom, crossing, in nature

And we’re climbing, showing, in nature

Portraiture, nomenclature…


I’m just an ivy vine

it doesn’t take much to climb

the backyard evergreen pine

my every scene is fine

feel every sunray is mine

the humans they gripe and whine

they say I’m invasive grime

but I’m just in spatial prime


And they spray controls and herbicides

to fade me back into the margins

because I’m not beholden to their designs

they made me crack without a bargain

They think they have dominion

as if they live far apart from it

They think they have dominion

as if they are not a part of it


And we’re climbing, growing, in nature

Within her bosom we blossom, crossing, in nature

And we’re lilting, wilting, in nature

Portraiture, nomenclature…

It’s probably just in our nature


The blackberry bush leaps

the manmade divisions

in plant’s lightspeed, he creeps,

plans laid, sapping provisions

from the prettier life

causing humanity strife

strangling the wildlife

indifferent to pruning knife


Sometimes I catch him watching me

watching him doing his thang

we share a knowing laugh,

knowing absurdity of our silent hang

They prune him back with difficulty,

but he comes right back with ease

They prune him back with difficulty,

and he returns despite their pleas


And we’re climbing, growing, in nature

Within her bosom we blossom, crossing, in nature

And we’re flowing, showing, in nature

Portraiture, nomenclature…

It’s probably just in our nature


Humanity’s its own disease,

it poisons its dominion

pristine degrees and gentle breeze

fall in dissenting opinions

they deplete the very things they need

to sustain their own species

they delete their many precious seeds

to maintain their racial feces


Our timeline is dynamic,

but while their era is comical,

the punchline is quite tragic

as they can see their coming fall

They think they have dominion

over nature, over all

They prune her back with difficulty,

failing to hear her call


And they’re lilting, wilting, in nature

Within her ruins we lost them, falling, from nature

And they’re lying, dying, in nature

Denatured legislature…


Was probably just in their nature

** *

Written for and shared to the climbing WordPress prompt.

via Daily Prompt: Climbing

Day 15 – Midnight Blue Moon


Image source:

Midnight Blue Moon

Midnight with you when the moon becomes blue.

Hindsight rendezvous when the moon becomes blue.


Mixed emotions cascade as owl heart serenades.

Forthright with you when the moon becomes blue.


Pain and regret shades our shadow masquerade.

Moonlight paints you when the moon becomes blue.


Sketching our love made where lines of us fade.

Rewrite what’s due when the moon becomes blue.


Hearts breaking, remade forged in fires betrayed.

Ignite on cue when the moon becomes blue.


Outright loss, dismayed when what’s lost is weighed.

Outright untrue when the moon becomes blue.


Destiny dissuades fate as line-of-sight swayed.

Starlight breaks through when the moon becomes blue.


In light tricks that strayed, Venus can’t retrograde.

Tonight, please be true when the moon becomes blue.


Enchanter’s nightshade bade our touch, unafraid.

Twilight out of view when the moon becomes blue.


Desire unbraids us, pooling very dark, marmalade

I fight to subdue when the moon becomes blue.


Expired, remade, us, fueling Barry’s lark escapade.

Sleep tight, bid adieu when the moon becomes blue.

** *

And just like that, we’re halfway done with NaPoWriMo. I gotta be honest; this is fun, but it is kicking my ass. Sorry I haven’t visited my fellow poets as often as I’d like to. Between writing every day, working my day job, being present for Wifey, and all the other real life stuff, I feel like I barely have time to look up, eat, or bathe. I have no idea how you other poetry bloggers find the time to do all that you do, especially those of you who host prompts. You’re all amazing to me.

I just felt like writing a ghazal today. No prompt, no sharing, no pingbacks. Just a ghazal.

It’s weird. Whenever a new Kendrick Lamar album enters my music rotation, I start thinking in nested rhymes, which is pitch-perfect for the ghazal form.

Day 14 – K-Dot’s Clerihew

K-Dot’s Clerihew

Kendrick Lamar

Rhymes and bars, well above par

Just clearing his throat to give it proper dapper speech

Power-steering hip-hop beyond popular rapper’s reach

** *

I followed NaPoWriMo’s day 14 clerihew prompt. I’ve been listening to his album all evening, and he’s ruined Hip-Hop for me. Who the hell is talented enough to follow this masterpiece? It’s over. Nobody else make anymore rap songs. K-Dot fucked it up for everybody.

Day 11 – Pills



I’m sitting in your bathroom with a bottle of your pills. I fished them from your medicine cabinet. I didn’t read the bottle. It’s the only way I know how to get your attention. I am desperate to win you back from him. I don’t care if he’s smarter than me or better looking. I don’t care that he’s on-track to become our high school valedictorian. It doesn’t matter that he can discuss the finer points of Germany’s unification with your mom while I sit silently, thinking about Optimus Prime dunking on Megatron. I don’t even care that he’s your ex-boyfriend and you think your feelings have reawakened. I don’t give a shit about any of that. He can’t possibly love you like I do. No fucking way. That’s why I’m sitting on the windowsill in your bathroom, waiting for you to come in here to witness how much more I love you than he does. I probably won’t take them, but you need to see that my life isn’t worth living if you’re not with me.


soft amber streetlight

wash out most of the starlight

man’s constellations


I’m startled as you throw open the bathroom door. I search your eyes for any sign of warmth, fishing for any semblance of our summer of holding hands and making out; of dreamy I-love-you’s or nothing-can-come-between-us’. I find nothing but midnight frost in them. You demand the pills, and I give them to you, still mining your eyes for the heart that once beat for me. Those eyes I quested were examining the pill bottle like a scientist coldly working a math formula in her head. You deduce out-loud to no one in particular that no more than seven pills should kill an adult male. When you tossed the pills back to me, I barely had time to catch them before hearing the door close behind you. And I’m alone again with the pills.


crisp, windy twilight

litter twirls and loops the night

I watch it falling


I stand, facing the bathroom mirror, trying and failing to fully contemplate my insignificance, not just in your world, but within my own. I had never actually considered taking the pills at first, but the way you coolly dismissed me shook me; had me looking at our universe – and my place in it – differently. I stared at myself, wondering what a fish saw when staring up at its own reflection instead of the planets, stars, and galaxies I saw when I stared up at the night sky. I was a small, pointless fish in an infinite pond with a vial of pills.


Venus outshines man

piercing our light pollution

curved in crescent form


A fish’s perception of reality is bound. Unlike a fish, my view is unbound. But in that bathroom, I was a fish, crippled by my own vision, staring at myself, failing to see our future together when the future valedictorian would dump you for a second time, compelling you to crawl back to me, compelling me to gladly take you back due to my poor self-esteem, leading to our ill-advised marriage and our dysfunctional decade-long dance of codependence that would end with me refusing to heed your pleas to hold our sham together a moment longer, leading me to love, loss, and mending in the arms of others until I would finally meet a woman willing to sit with me and stare up at the night sky together in wonder.

Like a fish, I am limited by my reality and cannot see my future, but I also couldn’t see any future in those pills. I place the pills on the sink and walk out of your bathroom, past your indifferent eyes, out of your door, leaving you to call our future valedictorian. Leaving you to our past. Leaving you to our future.


vapor clouds forming

crystalizing my exhales

chill cuts through my bones

** *

You’re not alone. Confidential help is available for free.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255