Eternal Restroom


I know you’ve been tempted to follow Death,
But don’t open that door, you’ll be mortified.
Yes, of course I want to keep you here…
It’s just…the afterlife is occupied.

Note: And with that, we’re done here. 31 poems in 31 days, from a campsite, from my office, from my heart and from my juvenile sense of humor. I saved this for last, because the picture is very … final. I would love to know if anyone has a favorite; I suspect it would be different from mine! Now we go back to the usual sporadic Bad Poem-Every-Once-In-A-While schedule, which might be weekly (ish). Thanks so much for being here. Any comments about the experiment welcome.

Now, with school starting, I will edit The Tiny Giant (oh, yeah, I finished the manuscript rewrite in early August…more later about that) and write some more of these dark twisty short stories that have been rattling around waiting their turns. I’ll see you all early next week with a grim little piece of microfiction called “Sink.” Since we’re into experimenting and all…

No, Mrs. Johnson, I Never Did Improve At This


I bought one of those books–
Coloring for adults.
They evangelize them so much,
It’s like they’re forming cults.

“It’ll relax you!” they said,
So I got out my shiny pencils.
I sat and scribbled and scratched.
In five minutes, I was mental.

The stress involved in choosing
Colors for each insanely tiny space
Was “relaxing” an agonized grimace
Onto my tightly scrunched up face.

If you’re into this crazy fad,
Please don’t let me yuck your yum.
Deep inside, I must still be five,
Yelling, “Coloring is dumb!”

Note:   Mrs. Johnson was my first grade teacher.  She despaired at my terrible pencil grip for as long as I knew her.  Also, I bet you’re dying to know what I’ve saved for last. Me too. Tune in tomorrow to find out what’s running the last leg of this relay.



Very often when I’m cleaning,
Excavation is the goal.
Resurfacing the counters
That disappeared so long ago.
In what seems like seconds,
Crap sprouts like frickin’ weeds.
All our junk in giant piles,
Like chronic skin disease.

Note:  This is not what I consider a “giant pile.”  This is almost cleared off, thank you very much.

Murder Me, Please


When my time comes to go,
I’d like it best to be
A murder most heinous
Like on mystery TV.

I’ll leave Cabot Cove
On a sheet-covered stretcher
Under the penetrating gaze
Of Miss Jessica Fletcher.

A Franklin Terrace gang hit
‘Cause I got crossed in The Wire.
Trampled by horses and branded,
A puzzle for Longmire.

Miss Marple would do for poison
Some ex-lover slipped in tea,
But call DI John River
If the investigation needs ESP.

My little gray cells are splat?
Then get the fine cells of Poirot.
If the murderer’s overconfident–
Take him off guard, Columbo.

DCI John Luther
Will kick ass whenever required.
Remington Steele will give his bond
To see the murderer retired.

No? You’d rather a gentle end
At Midsomer-by-the-Sea?
I’ll still get my grisly death
And you’ll have to call Barnaby.

Note: Obviously, I love me a good TV murder mystery, old or new. I just started watching “The Killing” on Netflix, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. All time biggest favorite? Probably “River,” also on Netflix. That’s a masterpiece, and believe me, I have a LOT to compare it to–gorgeous story and fantastic performances. I read a lot of mystery novels, too. I find it relaxing to follow the detective and see where he/she goes. Being a type-A, it’s a relief when somebody else is responsible for something, even fictitiously.

Also, for those of you following along at home: I worked on the deck rail today. Here’s a shot of some of it actually done. I’m going to make sure I get all the spots I can see out my windows first.


1979: The Mucil Age


Was there any finer adhesive
Than sticky brown mucilage?
Your paper, your fingers, your desk, and your hair
Could all play a part in collage.

Kids today only use “school glue.”
There isn’t even paste to eat.
We must send 48 glue sticks
To stick the damn kids to their seats.

There’s disappearing purple and staying purple
And teeny, weeny sticky dots.
But for me, mucilage was king,
Because mucilage was all we got.

Note: Sort of like government cheese, mucilage was much more common in the 1970’s. As a child who was often bored with the lesson, I experimented with viscosity, drying time, and bond strength by gluing my hand to the desk. I’d also glue my fingers together and pull them apart slowly to watch the mucilage form tiny tendrils that finally….SNAPPED. This was likely a less charming habit than it seemed at the time, but I was quiet and at my desk, so that was a plus.

About that picture: As punctuation to an unrelated conversation, I announced, “Well, I guess I’d better glue my hand to a piece of paper now.” My husband was nonplussed, which seems odd because he has met me before. After he was insufficiently impressed by my indoor shots, I took my hand modeling gig outside for the neighbors to wonder at. So…that’s a piece of paper glued to my hand and photographed while hoisted skyward. Hi, neighbors. Just me again.

Scaling Mt. Clothesmore


O! Mountain of cleansed things!
How you mock me from the basket,
and the floor, and other there,
and on my bed.

You are a pestilence before whom I fold,
a scourge without scale.
I weep and bow down, helplessly watching
the Clean But Unfolded ossify
into skeletons in my laundry room.

Note: Early on, I fooled my husband into thinking I was a folder. I used to go to the laundromat, and I folded it all before I brought it home. As soon as we were able to have a washer and dryer, this never happened again. Fortunately, folded laundry was not my sole appeal.

Also Note: Ahhhh! I missed midnight! As a piece of advice, it’s a terrible idea to go to a car lot at 6:30 PM and start the car buying process. This would seem like common sense, but I am an uncommon person. *yawn*



sometimes I miss you
even though you’re exactly                    there
because you won’t be

Note: I drove home alone from the beach today, up Hwy 101 from Manzanita to Hwy 26. It’s a corridor like the ones characters in movies drive through to show that they’re leaving one part of their life behind and approaching another. With the “Stranger Things” soundtrack as my own personal backdrop, I let tears roll for the last first day of kindergarten, and the piece of me that will bounce off into the world in the most official of ways. I call this process pre-mourning. It doesn’t seem to help, really, but it’s a bit like those patent medicines that claim to shorten your cold. Prove it didn’t!

Also:  I know, I know, I counted the middle line on my fingers, too.  Remember, it’s “Bad” Haiku Corner.

I Forget


if I made a list
of everything I forgot
it would all be here

Note: I do make lists. If I forget to put something on the list, though, it no longer exists in the universe until I need it 200 miles from home. We are going home tomorrow. All the things will be there, unless I forget some here.

She Smells Seashells


Your children bring back treasures
From the seashore, things espied.
It behooves you to check closely
That no corpses cling inside.

Though there may not be a’swimming
A lowlier creature than the whelk,
In a week or so, in Junior’s room,
There’ll be no more powerful smelk.


Note: As a child, I spent a half-supervised hour during my brother’s boring seaside cross-country meet digging in the sand, excavating the jawbone of what was likely a deceased canine. I was not allowed to keep my specimen. I was “allowed” to ride the several hours home with my freezing fingers outside the car window, then “assisted” with multiple scrubbings to get the smell off them. Ah, the smell of de-ceas…ed canine. (Too far for that one, I know. *shrug*)

Explain It Again, I’ll Get It Eventually


The other day, I made a joke
That nobody got but me.
Thankfully, a Samaritan man
Was right there to help me see…

That the joke to which I responded,
Had a “punchline” that I must have missed.
Thank god he added a winky face,
In case I wasn’t already pissed.

Oh, kind, KIND sir, my friend
With the very best of intentions.
I assure you the problem is not
My reading comprehension.

You are the one who missed it,
And maybe that’s not your fault.
But let me explain it at least twice
So you appreciate its heady gestalt.

Oh, and give me your business card, please.
I’ll put you on retainer.
I’ve been trolling the whole internet
For a zealously attentive mansplainer.

Note:  I have made many jokes in my life that fell flat, or were sloppy, or were too many steps away to be a good rejoinder.  I’m familiar with polite laughter and quizzical faces, and I’m cool with that.  I am apparently not good with a guy I don’t know explaining that I missed the punchline.  Weird.