"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

Saturday, November 29, 2014


     I only need four poems this month to beat my personal record for 2011. So I need to somehow write four poems. Maybe you're like me and you think of ideas for poems every once in a while, or you think something and say, "That would make a good poem." Then you forget.
     To me writing poetry is mostly the act of remembering and noticing with enough rhythm and muscle to build a picture out of. The picture is built with words. And the result should clang, like a cymbal.
    I keep journals and notes, but poems are slippery like tadpoles.  They run away even as you sit down to write one. I have a note from a few weeks ago that reads, "poetry sneaks up on your like leaves collecting under a tree." I think that is true. I've never written many poems this time of the year. And I find that really it's a great time for it.  In the winter I'll revise them into book submissions. In this blog you find my first drafts, lucky you.


Today at eleven
in the morning
it looked as though
the sun were setting
the shadows ran
home for dinner
while we hadn't
a thought toward
Dunch was all
the shadows
said, a hard word,
just like them
to whip in
early to spoil
what narrow
light leaked from
the sun--
we ignored them
and walked like
it were summer
down the horse
trail, the dirt
soft under my boots.
How is that possible?
Through inches
of sole, something
home, home
The white air
chittered with
horse musk
sweet with alfalfa
and a black
ribbon of smoke.
Off the trail,
the bits of leaves
had little crunch
left in them--
like so many
poems blown
against the barn,
or stuck
in the fur
of curled up

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buying Wine

Okay, so you need red wine
to cook purple cabbage. Red wine
plus red onions plus red cabbage
sautéed in butter, yes butter--
Yum, better than candy, it warms
up your cold winter heart from blue
 to red with it's purple splendor.
So you go to the store to buy
the wine and then you have
to decide which one. You think,
"It's a special occasion, so
let's buy a special wine.
Something magnificent,
something red, something
from a good year, a year when
something good happened.
So you don't even
try to for last year's wine,
and the year before that
wasn't that great either.
What about 2011
or 2010? No, no, and no.
And that's the oldest
wine they have at the
tiny grocery store
that offers cupcakes
and succulents at the
front entrance and frigid
flowers dyed blue and orange.
As though flowers didn't
already come in orange
naturally out of the earth
that way. And so then you
realize that even without
going back to a good year
you are out a huge chunk
of change. How much would
it cost to go back to a good
year?And so you buy the wine
anyway, the manger wondering
aloud why you bought the
"pricey" stuff, and you

saying it's for friends.
"You must like them a lot,"
he says. "I do." you say,
and you mean it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Purple Cabbage

So Pablo Neruda, of course, has probably written the best poem ever written about a cabbage. In one of his odes, Ode to an Artichoke, he talks about the cabbage: "The cabbage/ Dedicated itself/  To trying on skirts."  So true. But I can't help writing one too.

Purple Cabbage

Purple cabbage planted
into the flower bed
knowing you'd outlive
the deadly frost
I hate to see flowers die
And it was true they faded
to shadows after last
night's arctic breath.
Almost invisible.
But you, purple cabbage
your opened wide to kiss
the frosty stars--
your dress magenta
like the milky way
won wondrous surprise,
the praise of small
children who found
your rings of lusty laughter
a miracle and forgot
to cry over the others'

Music Man

When the trees are bare
you can see what's left
everything you took
for granted--
the nest from spring,
the squirrels accidental lair,
that leaf, or is it a bird?
Small black notes
left on the sheet music
of a chalked over sky.
What will the winter birds
eat when acrid berries
are gone? They don't
seem worried. And here
is the woodpecker. Has
he been here all summer?
Now I see him in his little
red cap and his zebra
striped jacket. What
a man for fashion!
He won't run out of food
when the ice forms herself
over the hallowed out hulls
of empty seeds. Why?
You know he eats
little mites who sleep
inside the tree. He hammers
notes on a scale up and down
the paper white bark.
I'd like to be like him. Face
winter with my new red hat
knowing that my pantry
will never run out,
with my back to the sun
and a coat of feathers.
No, I am him. I am. I am.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


leave the earth
I wanna be ...  like a leaf
I'll fall to the ground
and lay there dying
Everyone will know 
I spent my life reaching 
for the light
toward the only Sun 
then I'll burst into a little
flame of my own 
my red heart 
will match his fiery

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


In the center of the circle
are the slip tied tails
of a single undulating
ribbon. Knot, are you theory--
strings who never meet,
one or many?
Dream ribbon rain-bowed
glow you push the greyed
dusk with a swords edge,
who else sees you--
who has ever seen your
gilded secrets?
Your beauty unfolds,
blooms as the rose-
en-bridge to the destination
of dreams? No, not the source,
you are the servant, the door
we perceive to a star dance
too thick for four dimensions.
Our serpentine path through
time amuses you. Timeless
bridge to soul source, you
make me wonder who tied
you up into a bow.
You make me certain
love is fifth dimensional.
You sift me, grow in me,
show me that the
loves in color.