Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Puppet’s Tale

She births me every Día de Muertos, stuffs me with hope, stitches me up with deeds.

“Hope isn’t hard to find,” she says. “The thing grows wild out of the eyeballs of children and in the far stare of any well-lived adult, who understands that ends are just new kinds of beginnings. Good deeds, well… those take work and pain and blood.”

“It does hurt,” I say, clenching the painted cloth of my teeth against the jabbing pain, rubbing the crimsoned stitches she is using to secure the hope of young and old inside my chest.

“I know. I know it hurts,” she says, cutting the spare thread with her teeth, and kissing the top of my head, before taking a step back to smile at the newly born me. Her lips are bloodied. Red has trickled all the way down to her chest.

“You got dirty,” I say, pointing at the cloth that covers her heart.

She unbuttons the top of her dress, revealing fresh ragged stitches that mirror my own, and says, “Dirty? No, just marked by the price of hope, scarred by life.”

“I’m sorry,” I say with a smirk, knowing the crooked lines of my mouth morph the gesture into a creepy thing.

“Don’t be sorry, my Puppet,” she tells me, “just live for me.” Her smile is a red kick in the face of impossible, it feeds me, frees me.

“I’m ready,” I say, and she touches my cheek with the back of her fingers before setting me on the floor. I take a step and then another. On the third step, my first stitch comes gently undone. I smile at my maker, feeling the next stitch give way, letting my lifeforce—her hopes—spill and spread into the world.

She births me every Día de Muertos, stuffs me with hope, stitches me up with deeds… I share.

“Puppet”, by Shelle Kennedy

- this wee tale, which I wrote four years ago, was originally titled “On el Día de Muertos, the Puppet Feels”. I made some small changes: trimmed a bit here, stitched a bit there…

- for Poets and Storytellers United (Writers’ Pantry #44: Of Death and Ghosts in Books).

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

So Many Signs

Enough is enough.
You can choose to look away, but
never again can you say I didn’t know.
You have the right to remain silent,
but I don’t
recommend it.

Stand up.
Speak out.
If you’re not outraged,
you’re not paying attention.
I can’t believe we’re still
debating this shit.
Do something.

“Protest signs posted on the gate surrounding the White House”

photo by Clay Banks, on Unsplash

 - this poem was completely crafted out of protest signs found around the Web. The actual signs can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Two of them were paraphrased from quotes by Lisa Borden and William Wilberforce.

- for Poets and Storytellers United (Weekly Scribblings #43: Found Poems and Erasures).

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Of Jack-O’-Lanterns and Hearts

“El corazón de la auyama sólo lo conoce el cuchillo (The heart of the pumpkin is only known by the knife)”. ~ Dominican Proverb


the jack-o’-lantern

screams in eternal silence,

recalling the knife


- for Poets and Storytellers United (Writers’ Pantry #43: Sunday Morning Cereal).
- photo by Kelly Sikkema (on Unsplash).


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Blood, Teeth, Wings

This tooth fairy tale isn’t soft
or sweet.
It is salty
with a girl’s blood, sharpened
by a choker made of her teeth.
To belong,
in this fairy tale, a girl must give up
her bite and her Self
(in exchange for fairy wings).

Some say, “But
isn’t it worth it? It’s just
a little blood and teeth.”

I think, No, it isn’t just

“Is that all there is?”, by Shelle Kennedy
In my head, her expression mirrors that of the speaker thinking the last line.

- inspired by this Magical Mystical Teacher’s poem: “fingers framed by light / clutching an old rosary / carved of human bone”. I kept wondering about the bones that made the rosary. Were they finger bones? Maybe toe bones? My beloved muse decided they were tooth fairy teeth. And who am I to argue? *cough… cough*

- for Poets and Storytellers United (Weekly Scribblings #42: About Those Bones…).

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Autumnal Bits

“The leaves are changing; I feel poetry in the air.” Laura Jaworski

autumnal blushes
in butterfly wings, the heart
of wood and the sky

blooms pink,
to remind everyone
of the breast cancer

under a gray sky,
rose and canna lily bloom


- click HERE for the other two pictures that inspired the 1st poem, HERE for notes brewed out of the 2nd, and HERE for the canna lily that helped bloom the 3rd.

- for Poets and Storytellers United (Writers’ Pantry #42: Autumnal).


Saturday, October 10, 2020

When the Growing Gets Un-easy

My heart knew

you and I could be forever, then
you bared your teeth

before showing me the twist
of your back.

I tried tracking your steps, but
catching you
(the new you)
felt wrong—

your face un-filled, un-real, gone.

Once, when you were still
untwisted, you wrote to me,

“My heart and your heart
know we are meant to grow
side by side, you and I.”

But your tongue inked lies—

your heart was made for walking
(blind, blind and all alone),
when the growing gets un-easy.

photo by Jason Rojas, on Unsplash

 for Poets and Storytellers United (Writers’Pantry #41: Writers’ Pantry #41: “for her unmistakable poetic voice”), inspired by Weekly Scribblings #40: Walking Away.