book case

for my birthday, i want a bookcase
where i can live a different life
page after page
each treasured book a sweet escape
never one to lose my place

for my birthday i want a home
where i can live and not be afraid
like i always am
each day the same unflinching reality
another unfulfilled life on the lam

for my birthday i want to be happy
for life will be short
from here on
i’ve fallen far from where i started
but from this moment on, I’ll be reborn

Conversations With My Mother

Do you know where you got your talent for writing?
my mother asked me.
It’s from me, you see,
the talent that never got to be.

For no one ever encouraged me
nor told me I was good,
all they did was berate me for being ugly,
even wished I never came into this world.

There’s so much regret in her life,
growing up like she did, she said,
she still can’t banish the doubts
that still fill up her head,

still hearing the voices of ghosts
telling her she is nothing,
even when the maggots have turned to dust,
long after the feasting.

For those voices still linger,
they fester, they dim.
Like a cancer you can’t ever cut off,
clinging like a phantom limb.

But you have a chance, she said,
if you nurture it, it will grow.
so write what you think will sell –
don’t write what you know.

But what about writing of the things I love? I asked,
What about all that?
But it won’t sell, she said to me
So just write where the money’s at

But that’s the wrong way to go about it,
I said to her then,
if we don’t write out our truth,
we’ll just make those same mistakes again

But she can only tell me the truth that she knows –
her past, her only reality.
She’s yet to live the life I live,
Still killing my own ghosts before they get me.

Daily Prompt

Hand Me Down (Tanka)

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.

So many regrets,
of a life long lived in fear
Too many desires
ignored till they disappeared
Life half lived, year after year

So you pass them on
Like they’re trinkets in a box
Regrets and old fears
Weighing us down like they’re rocks
As we push against the locks.

Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Turning Point

What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TURNING POINT.


Where is the number
For the woman who snuffs out
Life you do not want

Photo by Ortonesque (RGB Stock Free Photos)

Senryu:  a 3-line unrhymed Japanese poem structurally similar to haiku but treating human nature usually in an ironic or satiric vein