"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

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I figured I'm a bird because I have feathers
I thought I was a bird, I mean, I have a beak.
I thought I could fly because I hovered
in a sky colored robin's egg blue.
My wings never even got tired.
Life was easy until. . . crack
When I saw my world lay broken, and
in this new one-- I can't fly,
I mean, not even a little bit--I cried.
So maybe I'm not a bird after all.
Maybe I'm an alligator. Maybe
I just dreamt I was a bird.
All I know is that freedom is cold
and big and hungry. But it's worth it,
because I found you here in
this place. What do you call it?
Yeah, a nest . . . a nest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I found this poem in my notes of a nonfiction biography project about Thomas Hart Benton, American painter. I often write a poem from the perspective of my main character to help me start a book, fiction or non fiction. I also wrote a tall tale about this character because he was so larger than life. 


I get up with the sun, but
it’s not to catch the light.
I pack my bag and beg
for a fight.  Out on the bluff
I brawl with the sun, with
shadows, barns, and everyone.
I stare at the sky
and the colors of the world
as the wheat crackles and spins,
curves and whirls.
I traipse down an old country
road, find some folks and watch
what they’re doin’.
Then I join ‘em
in a drink and a song.
Play my harmonica

all night long.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Invisible Lines

The black birds-- starlings most likely
because there are so many, and they sing
instead of call-- move in such a way, swirls
of flight, landing, and re-landing, the tip
of the conductor's wand carves a blind path
their wings so many sharp quills of invisible ink
Their traceless flight proves that if I could
see the wind, it would swirl and coil
like a snake in water. What is that place
in-between feathers, a kingdom
I, wingless, will never visit this side of
dreaming? No I will dig in the dirt and
cheer shoots of winter strawberries racing
towards the porch, hens 'n chicks with stead-
fast succulent hearts waiting out winter's breath,
a hollyhock leaf peeping out into the rare
December sun. I will tend my winter garden
and leave the winter sky for the birds
to dig up. We each have somewhere to

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Favorites 2014

the snore of my dog
the exclamation point on the welcome mat
the sunbeam refracted every morning by the front door
the abalone shell in my ring, mother of pearl
the red damask lampshade with beads
the priceless Japanese doll--waiting
the photograph of a perfect dandelion puff
the letters from two little boys
the sand dollars, three of them
which I will unpack, marked 2003,
when I finally settle down,
and the cinnamon freckles on your faces

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Psalm 23 or The Lord is my Mommy

Okay, so not many people know about shepherds anymore. But most people still know about mommies.  I think the 23d psalm works just as well as if the metaphor was God as our Mommy.  I mean the guy who wrote the 23d Psalm probably had a great mom because he did turn out so well enough to write most of the Psalms. I think maybe He would have thought it a little sissy to write a psalm this way, so he chose the more manly metaphor of shepherd.  His is a great poem, and I salute the writer with this other version I write just for myself. Even if only mothers get this one, maybe it will make you chuckle.

The Lord is my Mommy
I never have a need
before she tucks me in
or passes me my sippy--
My binky is never lost
because she finds it.
She always prepares
a big plate for me
she never lets the wolf
knock at the door. She just
stamps her foot and tells
him to go away. She makes
something out of nothing.
He looks in the window,
but he can't get in. That makes
 me laugh. My Mommy,
she makes everything sweet.
I have a feast, my bottle
is never empty there is always
milk and when it overflows
she helps me wipe it off the
floor. Her hand and voice
are my guide to
keep me from falling
to teach me to walk.
Surely, goodness
and sweetness
will follow me all the days
of my life both now and forever
and blankies without end.