prompts: venture contemporaneous carved priors brash favorable alarm history fret rivulet aim crepuscular stutters shadows cemetery

September 20, 2021 to October 3, 2021

from the full moon to the new moon in Virgo / Libra

It was a foggy night. The smug was heavy in the air. Cere preferred the fog to the gas. If she had to venture a guess, she’d say this circle of hell was a repeating popularity pageant with the grand prize being the flashiest coffin lined with gold velvet cash-stuffed bedding and large enough to store the winner’s favorite toys and suckling gizmos. Cere had her money on Headuptheassicus, which was the nickname she gave Becky Green, the meanest and most popular demon at Hellmont High.

As the sunlight shortens in autumn,
the moon’s contemporaneous rise
extends the bright moonlight
for several nights;
a hard turn through the zodiac,
the Earth responds softly
while the summer crops
are harvested in light

These words, little doses
of dopamine, spill
onto the page encoding
feelings that range
beyond identification,
carved and contained
in the ink of description;
in the play of depiction.

Do we wring life from its spine—every drop?
Jump over the haters or stop
I see a vault line:
faults and blame, bias and shame;
priors reenacted,
posturing exacted
in the primal part
of the brain.

How long goes
the era of suggestion?
Get ready to jump

Her art made you think; it wasn’t explosively brash or cutting but just the tip of the tine limned through your mind exposing heavy artifacts you’d filed away, postponed as bigger problems you were helpless to solve. But obstructed by the feign of ignorance as doing nothing tips the balance of conscience toward inhumanity.

favorable, alarm
Above the clouds at our feet
If Love were a Titan, were
to step up on the highest
mountain, emerge
from the foam
neath the favorable
mythic moon;
the alarm
of humors
balancing biles of thinner air
We are the very atmosphere
How easily these bodies
breathe as it carries us home

It was the biggest “FU” ever recorded in the annals of history. Its echoes shrank the Great Barrier Reef down to a chew-sized crouton. The sheer profundity reduced black hole theories to petty overthinking.

Maena and I called him Gambusi because he looked like a worn one we’d found at a yard sale. The top fold of his rutted brow seesawed with each eye—the near-sighted one for glaring up close and the other for glaring at a distance—like a loose fret indented when a finger slides over it so that a higher harmonic rang with his every word, like the echo of a knife being sharpened, like the hint of screech when that same finger hovers close to a flame. Gambusi was wound tight—warped neck, too; his chin evolved back and down, locked, with no movement in that direction, just the side-to-side head shakes of “no.”

Blue Kill rivulet,
I follow you to the fork
on the banks where
my baby walked before

The water picks up speed
just before the tributary,
rejoins the mighty
between this widening shore

Said a man with his best aim:

“I’ll throw my hat in the land of milk and honey”

When the material veil had been lifted
his mind ran like fire ants

The sun retires and shadows lighten,
the wistful glow of our golden hour fades
Specks of light turn on like fireflies
while the deer, fox, and bat play
in the crepuscular twilight;
their cool blue silhouettes
evanesce from human sight

It lands casual
gradual macabre concern
then a want to share
pain all day
all day
of ingrained emotion
till you confide your
deepest stains

Then it neatly packs
both stories
and flies away
flies away

“While others accept impermanence, we do not conclude such bleak ways of thinking. Our bleakness is in the ode to death but not in its permanence.” A dark shape fell across Maena’s face adding punctuation in that we did not dwell on shadows as harbingers of the sun’s end.

If you, Death, were
at my cemetery,
I’d let the friction
of your inevitability
set fire to our effigies
as scapegoats for envy 

While the devil
repossesses our
earthly talents
that shake off
in the final dance.

©2021 LAFogle / Lesley Ann Fogle

prompts: lock mock sock war store shore score door lore wake gores glib alight choir

September 6, 2021 to September 19, 2021

from the new moon to the full moon in Virgo

My hair smells faintly of you living in the strands
The memory locks on briefly,
tightens in a playful pull for your reaction

The wolf, starved, eyed the food left at the door of civilization. A steel bowl garnered with rules.

The mockingbird, its acute trills a duality unheard by the wolf, laughed and flew away.

“Try at least three times, really try and without pride, to talk to your friend and try to mend things.”
Grandma’s fingers moved deftly to the clicks of the knitting needles.
She paused to hold the big red sock up to the light.
“Darn it. After that, you might cut ties but don’t carry resentment.
Poison in your well is just as draining as holding on to trouble that can’t be solved.”

Strangers now but wearier, warier specie raised by sponges fashioned into mothers; wolves who left the pack in search of mate finding some single cell finale of fate; it was a self-exiled finality unlike the busy sorting aftermath through war or disease

a shortage of mason jars lids during the pandemic
a well-built corner store on every block
cherries, apple butter, cheese, and greens
lidded, rezoned into brightly packaged
sugar and fat, three for a dollar
leftover cottonseed once dumped in the river

One foot on the shore side of Scylla
A boat of chum, dog toys, and catnip
some chocolate for the lady and the palest hyacinth
matches and a thimbleful of gasoline

The score was 3 to 4:
quarter notes bending into position,
nodding to the stretch
of wholes ready at the relay.
Down the linear track in wait,
a chorus of eighths eager to pace,
excite, divide, and propagate
into a feverish, rapturous finish

This broken heart opens like a ‪door
Death metaphor, transform

Ashes on the floor and a wreath
of nosegays and sycamore leaves

Through the door to deity
Entrance or exit, war or peace

Mr. Wentithird turned, spotted Ms. Theid, smiled, walked toward her, caught sight of her entourage, paled, checked his watch, then eyed the door to the stairwell. For a moment nothing moved but eyebrows: Mrs. Crane’s raised, Miss Applebomb’s left brow arched, and Ms. Theid’s bunched at the browline.

She listened though I’d said nothing worth saying. Even when my words in wake of sleep fell easy,
she never asked me to explain; said the stringing sound of poesy is the only worthwhile philosophy,
so I stayed. As I was never made her student nor patient, I remain.

Grief takes the very mystery of things and mines the awe; leaves you with a ball of unsorted confusion.

It doesn’t bounce or return—there is no further lore; a hard dull carbon thud.

The art, history, and monuments of battle
never quite depict the blood shed
Rivers of ephemeral red
Infernal tributaries of devastated

The noun ‘champion’ gores the verb
from the the peaceful heart of [hu]man

I missed the soft side; he who called looking for lifelines aglitter, to talk in poesy meandering the marveling day: a language-loving philosopher.

I waited for him at the Green Mill, ill-prepared for the glib aloof lounge singer who sang of his own beauty. It was the wrong night for this mood.

The sky, black and blue, through milky haze;
Stars alight on strings of night and candle flames.
Our bodies tucked in beds of softest grass—
light years from the past—
in the spiral of Orion’s arms.

A choir of highs and lows
with all notes stacked
and tween, moves
in untold ratio
with everything

We are resonated fools
in a sea of waves
enduring, brief ballads
fossilizing in the deep

©2021 LAFogle / Lesley Ann Fogle

prompts: clock shocks dock rock jock

August 30, 2021 to September 5, 2021

His words and deeded shocks, the paradox,
send reckless current rippling through my brain;
firing patterns change to shield-like shapes
sealing intel from his mission of pain.
He’ll write of your imagined devastation

On the dock of Bear Lake, Michigan, my weightless stick legs bobbing in the teal opaque water; I sat watching my father, almost young again, fish from a pontoon with his best remaining friend.

Ursula’s kingdom was a glittery tree,
a remnant of the Aracariaeae
Too prickly to climb but lovely to see
it’s refusal to be extinct.

The bones stood tall but water is water to rock
Cracks where stacks of slab lay with land
One cosmic shift in the whole honorarium,
the very idea, could buckle and fall. A lean-to
Devotees return to the land
The serotonin from this soil
the very reason to build here

Jock Camon grew from the bloody fists of Vales in its dirt sun-burned streets where trees once wailed under the axes of men with immediate need for wood. A doorway, stiles and rails of pink chipped paint unfitted in the frame; a plywood panel where a window had been.