"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blue Jasper Prairie

This is who I am
I am the air that cradles each tree
the cavernous jasper blue of the sky
I am the slice of pie between each spoke
of the wagon wheel. I am the space under
the dude ranch sign. I am the tickling
beard of each white cloud. I am the last note
of every bird’s song, the ever changing pane
between every limb on every barked branch
I am kinlight between every head of grain
I am the current under each gliding wing.
Yes, this is me. I am the quickinging blur
of the paved road. The silence after
the ending note.
This is me.
This is who I am.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


We saw a vulture today
in the neighborhood
it came to say hi
borrow a cup of sugar
scavenge some dried
He was handsome
for a vulture

there are little lizard
hands all over the living room
carpet that the dog
chewed from a toy

and I wonder
if when all that is dead
and dismembered is
removed from my heart

it might grow again
So vultures aren't
a bad thing then

Saturday, August 23, 2014


My prayers are like weeds along the side of the path
fuzzy short ones-- good for the outhouse
sprawling canopies of fruitless vines
fiery trumpet bushes that signal it is August
tiny notes of joy

Strangling creepers, trees of thorns, these are my prayers
interrupted by little blue tailed skinks
the cinching murmur of gnats
but maybe those are prayers too

My prayers are like the weeds along the side of the path
chicory as blue as the sky, Queens Anne's Lace
Magenta honeyed clover swarmed by bees
Thistle down catching the breeze, Deadly nightshade
orbs of seductive poison

This tiny shell skidding over the rocks
from my false steps, that one is like my prayers too
Leaving silvery trails of indecision, they begin
full of confidence only to die in this fireball of a noon

you already know what I'll do--
I'll throw the snail over toward the creek where
the mud is soft and smells worse than sin
there it can cool off, hope to revive
in the protection of the shade

and I know you'll find it there-- You can't hide
easily, I can hear your music even through
the earbuds in my ears. Nothing keeps out
the sound of the crickets from these weeds

I hear them--
love      love     love     love
    love     love     love     love
their cry is what I walk on, what
I breathe, and the pace I speak
And the cicada are louder, competing
with the sun for power over power
and they say louder and louder
I aaaaaaaaam
I aaaaaaaaam
I am

Friday, August 22, 2014


(a poem by Mio, a mermaid)
I’m like a cuttlefish
I reflect I refract
an invisible-scuttle fish
I mirror everyone become
sand when they want sand
become shells to hide who I am
Perhaps I'll sway-- an anemone
Maybe pucker like parrot fish
or split in two a branching kelp
help... I've rooted here I'm stuck
lost in the forest of tridents
none of them mine I'm like a sea 
plume a feathered pen with no 
strength left to sign my  name
after everyone I've been
who can remember
after everyone I can't be
who cares
me a worthless cuttlefish
who has run out of camo
I will use my ink instead
to etch this web of truth and lie
I will write until I’ve bled it all
'til the whole ocean fills
with ink, and even our tears
will be Sepia.

Here is a rough sketch of a poem from the novel series I'm working on.  Poems help me get the idea for where the novel is going and what kind of characters are in my story. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


bless this
swollen bud
barely plump
but surely alive
birthed from
this bare
a sign
yes so

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sedona Cantos 2008

Drink me--a curious label
to etch in glass. Do you
believe what labels say
Well I can learn five
impossible things
before breakfast
from what labels
do not. Sedona,
her red tumbler
peaks give me
vertigo as I sip
a curious drink
I believe there
must be words
for a very new
taste…pale ale
the afterthought
of green olives
the soft hint of 
rubber sole
bubbles float
ever upward in
excelsior like Sedona
your peaks full of wonder

I feel a bit like a second grader when I create a poem with form, but it really satisfies the artist in me to shape a poem about the subject is speaks to.  Here is a tumbler shape in honor of the first time I ever tasted beer in Sedona, Arizona.  I didn't become a beer drinker, but I enjoyed that first taste more than the poem lets on-- just for it's novelty. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Walking Under Words

What is the sound of
of an oar after it dips in water?
Do you hear it?
The sound of fruit
after it falls from a tree?
What is the sound of a bird
after it has flown away?
What about the sound
after the rain?
What do you hear just as
the TV is turned off,
or the last round of
a loud argument upstairs--
or the last breath
of a haggard embrace.

What do you hear?

Monday, August 18, 2014

the angels have the box

We forgotten something...
we left a burning bush out back
I heard a knock, but we never opened
the door.
The Word appears on t-shirts and
street signs are imbued with messages
anyone would get.
We didn't read anything into them.
He sent us that last box.
But we didn't get it.
Two angels are picking it up
right now
in an empty warehouse
and it's over.
Our world is gone
and we missed the end.
While our backs were turned
the answers played out.

(Spoiler. While this poem has some Whovian references and may be confusing, don't worry, I only have a little idea of what it means myself.  I found it scribbled in my poetry journal.  If you've ever kept a journal saved for thoughts late at night then read them in the morning. You'll know what I mean.  But hey, I liked how mysterious this sounds and it makes me think of so many thinks it might start to mean.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Hate Roses

I hate roses
I hate roses and their thorns
I hate deadheads
 the lattice cut by angry aphids
the juice of beetles
the strangling webs 
of hungry caterpillars
I hate roses
In what way could they ever 
represent undying love
Why this fainting beast of a flower?
 When I cut off all its gruesome branches
down to the stub, they simply regrow 
full bloom .

Friday, August 15, 2014


Those old bards, like dragons now extinct,
preserved memory in velvet purses of rhyme,
stitched with meter. Their fiery tales a breath
of vapor, have survived many fires.

Some insist memories stick to our subconscious
like stamps on a postcard with Jungian script--
Dear Ego, . . . . Love Id. Shipped through
blood lines or to the collective.

What do you say, where are our memories
archived--our senses, our walls, our clouds
and what if our pharmaceuticals or our servers
go wrong? What if our memory were lost?

Maybe control is a white dove, a mental dream
where solar flares and cosmic change have
only cool breath to blow. Where red
giants never wake, where carrier pidgeons fly.

So I will write a poem, one for each dream and one
for each memory. For every crinkled note honeyed
over in the hive of my mind, I will take it out,
smooth it over, squint at my illegible scrawls--
and from them write a story. A story about...

how we have all loved different things
a story about how we all have loved.