Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Friday, December 7, 2012

I have obviously fallen off the map for awhile. I’ve been busy with my two jobs and working on NOT, ACTUALLY, my novel about Robin, the pregnant teenage runaway in LA who marries the gay Brit so she can keep her baby (that she gives up for adoption and gets back again). There is a thread in there about her exposure to Scientology (in the early years) that is also quite eye-opening.

Since I am seeking employment again (the commute is killing me) I thought it would be a bright idea to post something current so I will be considered clever and valuable/ Right.

Perhaps I’ll get in the obligatory holiday post, so stay tuned. I refused to subject my readers to one more Black Friday entry of that tired old poem. I’m saving it for my anthology!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Crow

The prompt today is to write a poem in the style of Marianne Moore, with the suggestion of writing about an animal.

In a pink and yellow dawn,
          comes through the opening
                 in my silver lit window the koww koww,
metered and numbered echoes of the crow,
          who my wise father referred to as
                 Old Indians and taught his children to dutifully respect.

                             Crows hear frequencies lower than humans, which complicates study of their vocalizations and given man’s propensity to know and communicate with other species, at least to                    
understand them, frustration is the baffling consequence.

Crows keep secrets only crows can know.

Cherished by some for demolishing grasshopper eggs; worshiped for sparing crops, the flip side of this adulation is being called tricksters , thieves…they are humiliated, lied about, destroyed.

               Why then is it said crows are kind birds that feed their old and weakened parents?        Amusing that this           
old bird might be so blessed and fortunate.

call him what you will.

To me he is liege.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Openings and Closings

Tonight there will be no poem. I spent the evening with old friends in The White Horse Pub in Post Alley and laughed so hard I thought I might crack a rib. That's living. I was to write a poem about opening day. I missed opening day but we were quite good at closing night. And so I will meet you all tomorrow, and rise to a new challenge. Thanks, Tammy and Michelle, for an evening to remind me what I'm really doing here. Kiss. Hug. Happy poeting.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Azula's Blues

Today’s prompt is to write the blues. The traditional blues song is the 12-bar blues. Perhaps this will lead to an illustrious songwriting career. Ya think?
My blues is written from Zuzu’s POV. (She, once a jungle cat, now lives indoors. In an apartment. With a seven year old girlchild.)

Once I was a jungle cat, I lived life on the edge;
Say, once I was a jungle cat, living on the edge.
Now I chase dust balls from under the bed.

You know, I owned a neighborhood under the palms;
My neighborhood, yes, it was under the palms.
I was taken from my habitat like a melody from the song.

Siestas I was famous for, my dreaming it was deep;
I dreamed while I siesta’ed; my dreams, yes they were deep.
Now in this lackluster life, all I do is sleep.

I roamed around with lizards, scorpions and snakes;
Still the queen of the jungle, I’m not afraid of snakes.
You know, people, I’m a jungle kitty; I’ve got what it takes.


So if you come to see me in apartment two-fifteen;
I invite you to visit me in number two-fifteen.
Hide your children and your money, beware of the jungle queen.

Other cats they know me, they could tell you of my legend;
Corridas sung about me, this cat is legendary.
I spit a mean hairball and I am quite contrary.

I’m Azula, singing my blues for you.
Yes, I am the mighty Zuzu, I sing the jungle blues;
My story is sad but true…ooh ooh ooh.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This is the prompt for today: an epithalamium /ˌɛpɨθəˈleɪmiəm/ (Latin form of Greek ἐπιθαλάμιον epithalamion from ἐπί epi "upon," and θάλαμος thalamos nuptial chamber) is a poem written for the bride on the way to her marital chamber, a poem celebrating a wedding.

Having nothing more to say,
he scratches the shiny surface of parchment
with a pen that scarcely allows ink to flow,
his name stuck inside the barrel,
to leave a trail
that joins him
with her.

The member of the wedding
in an event he alone effected;
he, in his moment of fervor,
words rolling down his throat
to land on her surprised bosom,
she whispered I do, I do, I do.

Sweeping his hair past his blanketed eyes,
he turns and sees one bride,
as he has never seen her before.



Monday, April 2, 2012

Heart of Damone on the Day I was Born

Number One song on the day you were born
"You’re Breaking My Heart"
Vic Damone

The slow dying ember
Continues to smolder
The skin will remember
The hand on the shoulder
The night tore ahead
Of a moon on the rise
I denied what you said
Didn’t open my eyes
My fear filled the dawn
The lark gave no warning
And you… you were gone
In the vacant white morning



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Comes April

Winter gives way to spring
In the most begrudging way

Bare trees that trembled
Under weight of
Anticipate transformation

Earth bursts
Infants shove their way
Arms stretch
Reach to the sound of

Returning home
Open throated
Extol the opportunity of the season

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I know how the flowers felt

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I'll pelt.'
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”
― Robert Frost

I've had times in my life that this poem suited me so well that the words would ring in my head, day after day.
Towards the end of this day, as I picked my grandson up at preschool and we raced through the garden to the parking lot above, I stopped to look at these daffodils and take a photo. We've always joked, they are the family flower...the Daffy-Dills. What I have learned to realize is the flowers are not dead. They manage to rise again to another day and recognize that this too shall pass.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marie Colvin 12 January 1956 - 22 February 2012

Marie Colvin was the kind of woman I wanted to be. Married three times, twice to the same man and once to a dashing Latino who was said to write like an angel in his native language, Marie Colvin was an Ivy League girl who jumped right into life shortly after she tossed her mortar board in the air at Yale. I loved her. She was tough, she was brave and she was immensely talented. Her writing, speeches and reporting were inspiring to the point of humility.

[She was not interested in the politics, strategy or weaponry; only the effects on the people she regarded as innocents.] Roy Greenslade Marie Colvin obituary

When I read Helen Adams in the Lotus Eaters, it was easily Colvin who I imagined, without the eye patch. But Helen was fiction and Marie was not. Helen walked down a long road into the future. Marie is gone and remembered today.

I heard the news this morning while I was driving to work and it hit me like a piercing. The grief I experienced over journalism’s loss of Marie Colvin wasn’t something I could share; I kept it closed in my chest somewhere and felt it like a ball of heavy smoke all day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In Memory of Dad 17 January 1905 - February 11, 1985

Twenty-Seven years ago today
Dad slipped away
In a manner not to his custom…
Quietly, with little fanfare. We’d fluttered
in and out of the room
saying goodbyes and laying our cheeks
next to his
unwilling to let him go yet granting him
his leave
because it was the noble
thing to do.
When he was gone my brother
keened and I
gathered sheets
and made mom tea.



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

River Stone

stones in the river

gone for the ocean…

like words I search

to remember time,



one stark obsession



Monday, January 30, 2012

Calling Stone

Call me out across the field
With abandon you will
Arrive upon my crumbling step
At last
We’ll close the door
Behind us
Just for the day

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Memory Stone

There were things on Kathryn’s table;
I knew each small pile had a story.
I could have stayed all night to listen.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Stone

I found these books for you today
I tried to tell the man about our past
He’d heard it all before


Missing Stone

I gasped and it
Felt like something inside me went missing
I looked around and
Everything was accounted for


January 27

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hope Stone

I stand there for you
I stand
Listening for sweet sounds
Keeps me anxious for
Another time



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blooming Stone

Where did our baby go?
The girl who comes in her place
Doesn’t give respite…
It’s constant transformation;
Childhood dueling with time.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cat Stone

My apologies:
Once a jungle cat
Now Familiar to a
Nascent diva

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tree Stone

Is why I live here:
The green outdoes
The blue
The green
It’s what they do.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Girl Stone

wonder of small worlds
eyes large
dreams immeasurable
future unlimited
endowed with no bounds

The Children Have Gone Home

Everywhere are little things;
Broken crayons, stiffened paintbrushes,
coats of glue on the table.
Pink princesses and odd shaped horses
taped to doors, windows.
Papers scribbled black, blue or brown,
Just a blob of color but…hello…
Now the children have gone home.

Bits of yarn, yellow and frayed
Wanted to be on a doll’s head but abandoned for
some noisy distraction on television.
Train tracks scattered under the dining table
and at the bottom of the stairs,
A once lost locomotive, a well worn caboose,
Easy to trip on but…hello…
Now the children have gone home.

Brushes and combs with goo and sprays;
ribbons and elastic ties in a maze;
Basket upended with bottles and pots;
bathmat a dampened mess on the floor.
Toilet lid up, then down, then up again;
Doors slammed, drawers crammed,
Streaks on the once spotless mirror but…hello…
Now the children have left; where have they gone?

Petals of flowers dried on the rail;
A red bow tied on the dog’s tail;
The cat finding refuge under the bed;
water bowls tipped and spilled on the kitchen floor.
The fridge door left open again and again;
Piles of towels and clothes, dirty or clean;
Bees left buzzing in jelly jars but…hello…
Now the children have gone home.

Rusted sleds in the basement;
Mittens with moth holes;
Jackets hung in the back of the closet,
Forgotten there by glistening boys and girls.
Trikes and bikes with hardened flats;
Pogo sticks and hula hoops.
Shovels and sand pails;
Wooden boats without sails,
Meant to come back to, but…hello…
Now the children have gone home

Yearbooks and primers gather dust.
Hairless dolls not to be tossed;
Comics and photos that won’t be lost.
Boxes dragged out with crumbling toys,
paint dulled and chipped
on trucks and puzzles
For children who gather where children have aged.
Don’t miss a moment or wish they’d be still because now…
The children have gone home.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lingering Stone

She knows how to wait
Let the sea be the lullaby
Patience is the core of the faithful heart

Friday, January 20, 2012

Youth Stone

When I was young
I dramatized being old and wise
My hair was dyed silver.
Now I carefully pretend my hair is brown
And scratch the surface of memory
For who I was.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flight Stone

Two birds.
I followed their course as
They faded in the haze...
And could have been saying
“Oh, for the want of wings.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sledding Stone

Feathers falling
Sticking to the earth
Making pillows to slide down



Homeward Stone

I must make it home tonight
Clouds are full of dragons and ice
Shining pavement
Carves my way
I can hear a kind of warmth
Calling me

(Before the snow)


Monday, January 16, 2012

Dream Stone

Dignity in the eyes of a dream
Truth at the end of the day
Relentless hope
Persistent optimism
Some things won’t be undone



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Stone

Quiet softness
Broken only by crunching travelers
Who must go out
Into the white

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Zarathustra Stone

Given the battle of the natural world
I touched upon the lightness of being
Life in C major
The joy of perfect intervals

Sunset Stone

The sun is in the water
My feet are in the clouds

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Road Stone

I leave again
Always leaving somewhere
Taking with me
The things I lug around
Painted on the pedestal
That roots me where I land



Big Stone

I write stones
You send boulders


Luna Stone

Now I see the moon
Until tonight
The sky was vacant



Monday, January 9, 2012

Rose Stone

Symbols sit behind us
Vows and curses the ticket for admission
Old jokes and tales ride the night
Secrets unveiled

Sand Stone

Black sand of Sayulita
clings to me
can’t wash it away

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Moon Stone

There it is again
It followed me, I suppose…
Better to not try
from the moon.

Jungle Stone

The night distillery
Takes the nectar from my heart
Ferments the sweetness
Into remembrances

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Road Stone

My teeth gritty with dust...
the ocean whispers
rolling by on the left;
the other side
is the river
full of stones

Time Stone

With eyes closed
What comes back…
My youth
Lingering like a perfume
The music
Never changing, never the same

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Music Stone

Vagabond notes
Call it music
Where anyone can listen
Sing off key
Anyone can listen



Monday, January 2, 2012

Landing Stone

Just down that wing
If I slide
I could land in your sand
Take your hand
Your way



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cloud Stone

like smoke rings
beneath me.
Fall through them
Like O's