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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 194

Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

First off, I’ve had a person or two ask about the April PAD Challenge results. Just want to let everyone know those are still coming, and I want to apologize for taking so long on them. They will be done before the next challenge begins, which is only a little more than a month away (believe it or not).

For today’s prompt, write a trespassing poem. Your poem can be written from either side of the fence or take an impartial view from the sidelines.

Here’s my attempt:

“At dusk”

Here we are. After we’ve turned our shoulders
to the sun, the world gets more fun. Someone
should write this down, the way we clown around
when we can’t be found. This park closed at dark
to all who hold fear, but that’s why we’re here.

*****

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

*****

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

188 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 194

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

    To the White Shepard
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    To the white Shepard chained 24/7 to a
    dilapidated doghouse alongside a busy road,
    that’s no way to live.

    Most days when I drive past your house,
    I worry you won’t have enough great stories
    in which to mesmerize all the other dogs with
    when you finally cross the rainbow bridge.
    Stories like how chocolate tastes
    and hot dogs and ice cream,
    what it feels like to lay your head across
    the padded arm of a large comfy sofa.

    Dogs are social beings, meant to hang out
    alongside man, break bread together
    partake in singalongs and rideathons,
    chase frisbees down fog-lined beaches,
    hike rain-soaked trails, feel the
    tug of a leash on a wintry day.

    In truth, my heart aches each time
    I see you at the end of the chain,
    your eyes dull and downcast, as if
    daring me to come some dark moonlit
    night, skulk across the browning lawn,
    and liberate your matted white coat into
    the backseat of my Corolla.

    But knowing the deep loyalty of dogs
    no matter how bad the circumstance,
    I fret over misinterpretations and the risk
    of getting attacked, caught, or even arrested.
    It’s a struggle deciding the greater sin,
    coveting your neighbor, stealing, or
    simply turning a cheek to man’s injustice.

    Gripping the wheel, I hesitate, then drive on.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. THE WAY BACK

    It’s been a long time, years of seasons, snow
    that melts downcountry. What unlocks the door?
    We’ll find a back way to Somerset Cross-
    roads – canyons, rivers waiting to explore

    new cuts through granite. Memory. How the wind
    can sing through incense cedar. Songs of loss:
    roads, canyons. Rivers waiting to explore
    we’ll find. A back way to Somerset: cross

    the Cosumnes, trespass scrub and ghost-pine.
    So many fences that weren’t here before.
    We’ll find a back way to Somerset. Cross-
    roads. Canyons. Rivers waiting to explore

    the map for names. Old miners’ diggins gone
    to bear-clover. Flakes of gold the waters toss.
    Roads, canyons, rivers. Waiting to explore,
    we’ll find a back way to Somerset Cross-

    roads. Old dogs we lost, and call in our sleep.
    Unfenced views they showed us, a free land’s lore
    we’ll find. A way back to Somerset Cross-
    roads. Canyons, rivers waiting to explore.

  3. a.paige says:

    MY TRESPASSES

    I read the works of a poet
    the words so cold
    I”ll shiver and so know it
    Sometimes I ignore it
    It’s certain
    I deplore it
    And yet….
    I explore it.

  4. Michelle Hed says:

    Bruised, Defeated but Not Down

    My trampled heart
    could bear no more
    so I hung
    a sign upon her door;
    Broken, currently mending
    needs time –
    don’t come back,
    will call if you are needed –
    NO TRESPASSING

  5. tunesmiff says:

    GET GONE – LONG GONE
    G. Smith (BMI)
    —————————————-
    I thought the ring would say it all,
    And I still can’t believe you called.
    You stepped across the line,
    This time.

    Now I’m not saying she’s property,
    But you know that she married me,
    Don’t care how far back you go,
    You know?

    And I’m not usually a jealous man,
    I give the benefit of the doubt when I can,
    Still I can’t help but think you’ve planned
    A little something all along.

    Now, I don’t see conspiracy,
    Hiding out behind each tree,
    But somethings are what they seem to be,
    So you better get gone – long gone.

    The answer to your tired pick-up line:
    “Hey there, Baby, what’s your sign?”
    Is, “No trespassing,”
    “Keep off the grass” ‘n’
    Get on outta here;
    Do I make myself clear?
    And don’t look back.

    Don’t wanna hafta use a little double-aught,
    American made, fine buckshot,
    To make my point;
    Best leave this joint.

    ‘Cause when everything is said and done,
    She’ll make it plain that I’m the one
    And only in her life;
    She is my wife.

    And I’m not usually a jealous man,
    I give the benefit of the doubt when I can,
    Still I can’t help but think you’ve planned
    A little something all along.

    Now, I don’t see conspiracy,
    Hiding out behind each tree,
    But somethings are what they seem to be,
    So you better get gone – long gone.

    Just get gone – long gone.
    Just get gone – long gone.

  6. AVALANCHE ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN

    Fresh snow beckons – covers any tracks
    leading out, or back. We left the lodge before dawn,
    its lights casting dark shapes
    on a blank winter landscape that turned,
    imperceptibly, dim to bright. Sun-glare off snow.

    My dog sniffs blue shadow in tree-wells
    and the lee-side of drifts.
    No tracks of ski or snowshoe. No human scent.

    The lost man had a camera – did his viewfinder
    draw him past boundary lines into white
    trespass? On Lookout’s southern flank, snow-rubble –
    a cornice avalanched. Sun-glare,
    brief daylight; sunset takes us always by

    surprise. Dim to suddenly dark. Did lodge-lights
    beckon him to take a shortcut,
    to seek the whiteout, quick-way home?

  7. TRESPASS

    The world’s off-limits
    to a child who reaches for the tree’s
    knowledge, the nameless
    kingdom’s key, dreams. You might
    catch a glimpse of him at dusk,
    outside the heavy oaken doors of rule
    and grace, kneeling at gravestones,
    making charcoal rubbings
    of angels. Sometimes he’ll lean
    against a spotless railing, watching
    man-horses whirl in polo-mallet
    whites. Hoofbeats
    like his pulse. And then he’ll turn,
    and seek out the forest’s leaf-
    ballet under spills of light and shadow;
    at last, he passes wordless
    to his room, to sit snug, alone,
    till suppertime. What role for such
    a child in this fenced world?

  8. Marjory MT says:

    NOT DARE TRESPASS (Roundabout)

    I long to be a part of you.
    My memories from the past
    from years ago
    you cannot know
    my memories from the past.

    Now a simple thing to do, but
    through the door I can’t go.
    I will not lie
    I really try,
    through the door I can’t go.

    Walls seem to be cascading in
    I feel I will be crushed.
    What is to fear,
    your friends stand here?
    I feel I will be crushed.

    I cannot stay, I turn away
    I do not dare trespass.
    You’re in plain sight,,
    try as I might,
    I do not dare trespass.

  9. Between a rock and a hard place.

    I went along to the open mic
    with my poetry books in my hand.
    I had a couple of things to read
    at least that’s what I’d planned
    but nobody spoke to me
    nobody smiled
    nobody met my eye,
    so I changed the poems I’d planned to read,
    went on stage and proceeded to die.

    ‘Cos they were not my people
    and I certainly wasn’t theirs.
    Something about me got right up their noses
    down which they quite pointedly stared.
    And I’m really rather proud that I didn’t turn tail and run
    but most of me wishes I had, because sticking it out wasn’t fun.

    So I won’t be going back to that place where I felt all wrong;
    I’ll be trying to find where I feel right and where maybe I might belong.
    And the funniest thing of all is, if I’d had this poem to tell
    and recited it in a rock and roll way – it might have gone down rather well.

    banana_the_poet 27th September 2012

  10. tjholt says:

    Only In That Time

    It’s the twinkle of a moment
    when life is fully visible
    before dimming to darkness
    as a spark from its source.

    In that time
    I own all imagined:
    beyond perception,
    beneath sound,

    between touches,
    before star fires perfume
    discernment of taste.
    Even in the afterglow

    I am but a trespasser in life.

  11. Roots

    I trespass
    In the neighbor’s yard
    To cut the roots of the tree
    Of which its branches trespassed in mine

    Our problems
    May originate
    In distant places or time
    And we busy ourselves plucking leaves

  12. RJ Clarken says:

    Sacred Privacy

    “Unasked advice is a trespass on sacred privacy.” –Unknown

    Don’t tell
    me what to think
    because I won’t mind your words.
    Instead, please try to understand
    my thoughts are mine alone.

    ###

    Hi Poet-Folk!

    Sorry I haven’t been around much, but I am going back to school for another degree and don’t have a lot of time on my hands lately. I”ll try to read your poems later, ‘though…

  13. cstewart says:

    Childhood

    Up on the hill above the White River Bridge –

    On one of my daily, rambling adventures,
    I would occasionally go to this cemetery.
    I was welcomed by the thin, wrought iron gate,
    Hanging loosely on one hinge,

    The trees shot up fifty feet on the perimeter,
    The dried grasses were yellow, tall and thick,
    And fell over themselves like waterfalls.
    The ground was deeply pocketed.
    I always felt respectful and scared going in.

    The markers were curved, worn limestone and
    Stood askew, a few had fallen flat.
    Some of the letters were blurry and hard to read.

    Carefully, I would walk past the graves
    Of the Indiana Brigade and
    The smaller graves with brief stays,
    I thought about those going South –
    To fight on foot for the Union,
    And what that would be like.
    Children who died of diphtheria or cholera
    Or other childhood diseases,
    And,
    How easy it is to die unknown and alone.
    In the world.

  14. Domino says:

    Trespassing (with Gooses)

    Summers in the country
    were filled with enough chores
    most of the time
    and enough lazy days
    in the tire swing
    or rambling in the little piece of woods
    but sometimes
    wanderlust would strike
    childish heels
    and we would wander the
    roads and lanes
    (unpaved until 1978)
    on quests of discovery.

    Once we found a wide-open field
    with sunflowers,
    (so many it was like the field
    of poppies in
    the Wizard of Oz)
    and we were simultaneously
    possessed of a notion
    to bring some home
    to grandma.

    And so, over the whitewashed
    split-rail fence we avidly climbed,
    ready for plunder,
    and right back over we
    scurried as we discovered
    a full gaggle with accompanying
    gander
    all fully loaded with
    vicious beaks,
    hissing,
    tails wagging
    furiously;
    and they chased us
    home.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  15. Misky says:

    I Am Between Walls

    William Williams
    is trespassing
    in my left
    ear, his film noire
    voice an itch
    in my right –
    his speech
    stilted
    as cobbles,
    and I am trapped,
    and trespassing
    between walls.

  16. Marianv says:

    Trespassers

    We cut across the grass when we were late
    Fences didn’t get in our way, our legs were long
    And we were in a hurry, heard the gong
    Of the tower clock, our professor would not wait

    Sneaking in un-noticed was beyond our skills
    We strode in boldly, why should we hesitate?
    An important group like us – the class should wait
    He paused to watch us with a look that could have killed.

    It didn’t matter where we went or what got in our way
    If we could push it all aside, we marched right through
    “It’s broken, Oh! So sorry, but there’s nothing we can do…”
    “Oops, we knocked it over?” “Too bad, just let it lay…”

    Our attitude, we were informed, was nothing to admire.
    But we were late, was our excuse, when someone would complain
    Once we discovered a short cut was to enter in the exit lane
    We also found that in our haste, we had flattened every tire.

    .

  17. Bruce Niedt says:

    Borders

    And that sign said, “No Trespassing”,
    But on the other side, it didn’t say nothin’….
    – Woody Guthrie

    They meant nothing to us at ten or twelve,
    except some barriers thrown up here and there
    as a challenge to climb or push through:
    a picket fence, a stone wall, a hedge.

    Like little land barons, we took ownership
    of those lots and yards, just because they were
    part of our neighborhood, our territory,
    our literal stomping ground.

    We sought bare spaces for sandlot ball,
    a grassy hill to roll down, a microcosmic plain
    for Cowboys and Indians. If the owner yelled,
    “Hey you kids!” and came after us, we’d scatter,
    hoist one another over the chain-link fence,
    then look for the next land to invade.

    We meant no harm crossing these borders –
    our only weapons were imagination and enthusiasm
    for the vastness of our little world, though sometimes
    we’d play war with sticks for guns.

  18. IMPARTIAL

    still straddling the fence
    with remarkable balance
    astounding agility
    making little ground
    would hate to embark on one’s
    territory or the other
    would hate to intrude
    or fall upon
    an unexplored region
    then labeled a trespasser
    heaven forbid
    would hate to offend anyone
    of course
    by choosing a side
    will try to remain impartial to end
    but would hate for some strong wind
    to blow me to one side
    or other

    Benjamin Thomas

  19. SharoninDallas says:

    TREPASS?
    My space, your space
    My heart, your heart
    Two in one, one in two
    Decide each day what to do
    Come here, stay there
    Stay this side, stay this way, today.

  20. Sara McNulty says:

    Who Has The Right? (shadorma)

    She sits in her home
    memories
    of husband
    surround her. Why can’t she stay?
    She will try harder

    not black out. We fear
    her safety
    has no net.
    So we trespass on her life
    of independence.

  21. J_Hemmestad says:

    Names spoken in darkened, forlorn hallways,
    Mystery hidden in literature,
    Between volumes of words remain always,
    From unsettled heart, there is found no cure

    Tunnels of fallen leaves blow in low swirls,
    Footsteps crackle and crush peace defiance,
    Fire smolders in shadowed, dark smoky curls,
    A hand from secret, voice brought to silence.

    Haunted grave enrapturing entombed heart,
    Dead grass, witness to desecration lone,
    Within ancient earth a dwelling revealed,
    Truth brought to light, in shadow’s casting own.

    In moonlight glow amidst devilish tune,
    One has come to claim that which is now strewn.

  22. julie e. says:

    THE CHOICE OF MOMENTS.

    As a child I saw them,
    bright moments unconcealed
    light through leaves,
    flying on swings,
    marshmallows in hot cocoa.

    And as a child I danced
    in patent leather shoes,
    singing, twirling,
    heart open
    to the imaginary crowd.

    But she saw:
    a child to mind
    leaves to rake
    another cup of cocoa
    interrupting her thoughts,

    as she sat
    with her cigarette,
    hugging
    disappointment
    to her chest.

    When she died she sent
    via lawyer and the postal service,
    boxes of memorabilia,
    annotated, dated and initialed
    with anger and discontent.

    And when her bitter narrative
    trespasses in my head,
    I choose to turn
    my back and run
    outside

    seeking moments unconcealed,
    of light through leaves
    to dance and sing,
    always holding my joys
    tighter than my hurts.

  23. PKP says:

    Private Property

    She taped the crayoned sign
    to her bedroom door
    and slipped beneath
    thick covers
    falling into
    swift slumber
    believing in the inviolate
    safety of her solution

  24. pmwanken says:

    NOT YOUR PROPERTY

    Where once you were
    invited and welcomed,
    the memory of you is
    trespassing on my dreams.

  25. PowerUnit says:

    When the night falls hard like
    The last wheelbarrow of stones dumped behind the barn
    Picked from the field
    Rocks our oxen stumble over and plough blade chips on
    Or catches and halts us in the wet dirt
    When that last light at Yoder’s fades and
    The whippoorwill sings
    When the mosquitos tresspass into your room
    And you chase them with your only book
    Your Huckleberry Finn swatter
    And your head sinks into that feather pillow
    Unable to lift itself from the fall
    You know it was a good day

  26. PowerUnit says:

    In a Cemetary

    Leaning softly arm around arm
    Shoulder against shoulder
    Backs against granite
    Hands gently squeezing
    Warm cans of beer

  27. laurie kolp says:

    Transcendental Trespasses

    In my dreams I
    sift through time,
    an autumn leaf
    waltzing on air.
    You lift me
    through fields of wheat,
    each moment a stolen memory
    until we drift to sleep as one.

  28. Ber says:

    Watching for the Fall

    Wondering imagination
    laughter filled our souls
    up to no good
    lets explore the nearest wood

    On our way to the open
    the trees waving at us
    with wind swept air
    reining in
    eyes wide open
    smiles and a grin

    Unable to walk past the trill
    before we knew it
    we were in our fill
    as apples of nourishment
    filled our pockets
    the farmer flew out with his gun
    like a rocket

    Bang went the thunder
    it took over the tighten air
    flashes of lightening
    everywhere

    As the farmer threw back his head
    to this day
    run away home
    now children
    do not delay

    Scared and helpless
    frightened to the bone
    was it the weather
    or the man
    we had torn

    Ripping his earning
    from the trees of fruit so full
    as darkness washed away
    our lives that day
    that was dull

  29. seingraham says:

    For Baby Girl M

    soft turned earth
    the colour
    of my morning
    latte lays
    the length of you
    is all there is to say
    you ever breathed
    my being here
    feels invasive

  30. claudsy says:

    The Thief in the Night

    Whether he or she,
    Old or young,
    One who can slip
    In unnoticed moves
    As a thief in the night.

    Whether real or imagined,
    From yesterday or tomorrow,
    That which controls my focus
    To exclude all else around
    Works as a thief in the night.

    To come within my space,
    To insinuate without grace
    To form a bond within,
    Removes me for its sake
    As can only a thief in the night.

    © Claudette J. Young

  31. Ann M says:

    Trespassed on–footsteps laid
    across a sleeping back
    and covers lifted so wind–
    wintry and dry–gets underneath
    and inside, twisting
    as in a street’s cavern,
    throwing scraps and hats
    into the sky,
    so that what’s left
    is unrecognizable,
    trampled on
    and left to rise or not.

  32. Marie Elena says:

    Deer? We can relate over here. ;) Nice work!

  33. Jane Shlensky says:

    Early Visitors

    You come at dawn to nibble
    acorns beneath the trees,
    your diet broadened
    to hydrangeas and lilies,
    my hostas snipped
    even with the ground
    your eye on the woods
    and the yard as you taste
    my garden and approve.

  34. Jane Shlensky says:

    Deal

    I have a sturdy box jammed
    with my journals, chronicles
    of drama,turmoil, wisdom
    come too late,self-love
    and self-loathing, recipes
    for the good life, grocery lists
    of stupidity,writings that should
    have been destroyed
    years ago, whose existence
    yet keeps me honest.

    In the event of my sudden
    or untimely death,
    my best friend has instructions
    to burn them without reading them.
    Naturally, we have afforded
    one another this mercy.
    Perhaps all we will discover
    is what manner of friends we were
    and are, whether our curiosity
    will hole us up with the other’s
    words flaming before our vision,
    remembering, feeling
    the burn of trespass,
    the smolder of missing.

  35. JWLaviguer says:

    Dying
    Alone
    Reflecting
    On a life
    Wasted
    Pushing away
    They finally got the message.

  36. (Zymurgy form by Walt Wojtanik)

    Like Adventurous Children

    Children like adventure, to roam and wander.
    W hen we were little we’d venture through hills
    A nd woods and come upon no-trespassing signs
    N ailed to trees or hanging on fences. We weren’t
    D isturbed because many acres were free to
    E xplore. To country kids, creeks, vines, trees and
    R ocks were like playgrounds were to town kids.

    Kids like to go here and there and where
    W onders await. For endless hours, we
    H ad fun climbing, swinging, sliding until
    E xhausted. We’d soar in pretend jets and
    R ockets and fight villains, monsters and
    E vil men to protect our part of the woods—

    Woods where we were allowed—always.
    A t times we’d be enticed by the forbidden,
    L ike a decrepit house surrounded by
    W eeds, a hidden monastery or other
    A ssorted private properties. But we knew
    Y ou got in enough trouble even where we were
    S upposed to be. We knew, firsthand, it was so.

    So we stuck to where we were welcome. I
    W ish, in this life, we’d remember to
    E ngage in the opportunities our
    L oving God has for us. At times we stay too
    C lose to the fences, not venturing out.
    O beying His no-trespassing signs, we
    M ight have more fun and adventure
    E xploring all of the wonders He offers.

  37. priyajane says:

    Trespasser

    The gates are closed , the day is done
    The heart is heavy and the coats are hung
    When suddenly , unexpected, out of the blue!
    Uninvited,– he sails right through!
    Like moonlight seeping thro the dry cracked walls
    He stealthily decorates the dark damp hall
    Who knows what, when and who will show
    You may not want to lock the door

    PriyA Jane

  38. Yolee says:

    Between the Tangerine Lipstick

    Because the mouth speaks out of the abundance
    of the heart, her words were prickly and set
    like a barb-wire fence. But he was able to climb
    above it and gaze at fear through her transitional

    eyewear that gradually became clear as evening
    sipped the daylight. He sang extraordinarily
    out of tune as far as she was concerned,
    and yet he managed to make her crushed
    quixotic opera twist and shout.

  39. Tracy Davidson says:

    can I forgive him
    his trespasses against me
    with other women?

  40. Tracy Davidson says:

    my neighbour’s apples
    trespass into our garden…
    finders are keepers

  41. klwillis says:

    The Good Neighbours

    The fence stands up tall, iron brittle and cold
    A veil made of man-worked metal and charms
    Reaching down into the ground,
    as much in the earth as above.

    A sharp swing could sent it crashing,
    All noise and shattered edges
    As the barrier falls down in snowflake-shards.
    The fence makes us good neighbours.

    You test this again and again,
    Creeping over the fence one by one.
    On our side of the divide you will become our game
    Due to a pact that is written in blood.

    We’ll smile, we’ll cosset, we’ll feed you, and more
    But return home, there you’ll wither away.
    We’re sorry but that price is levied
    When you, unwanted, made your way up and over the wall.

    We are your good neighbours
    But you rarely come over
    That fence standing tall in the way
    If you opened the gate, we’d hold open our arms.

    But still the iron stands as your guardian edge
    And our rules were made very clear
    Trespassers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent
    And we have different ways of making laws.

  42. Miss R. says:

    Forgive Us Our Social Trespasses

    Creeping shrinkingly into the crowd,
    Eyes flitting nervously back and forth,
    You wish either for open affection
    Or absolute invisibility.
    You receive neither.
    Too late, when there can be no escape,
    You feel their disgusted glares
    Condemning your audacity.

  43. WHOSE WORLD IS THIS?

    In a drawer, from an unexpected nest
    of insulation and shredded papers
    that I meant to keep forever whole,

    skittered a mouse – the one who keeps
    her store of stolen cat-kibble in a mug
    that hangs from the cupboard? White-

    brown spotted mouse. So close, I
    could see, down the length of her belly,
    two neat seed-rows dark as wild-rice –

    and five mouselets clamped to those
    teats as she softly rose up out of my
    drawer to merge back into secret

    spaces behind cabinetry, the innards
    of my house. For an instant, she
    looked me in the eye, then she was

    gone. Back to her mouse under-
    ground. This is all I know. Whose
    house, whose world is this, anyway?

  44. Marie Elena says:

    TAKER

    A mere two years ago,
    A cold slab bore her son’s bullet-ridden body
    In a faraway continent no longer her own.

    This morning,
    A cold slab bears her son’s bullet-ridden body
    In a faraway continent no longer her own.

    Begging you please,
    leave this mother-heart be.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Unbelievably, my Venezuelan brother-in-law this morning lost his second (and last) brother … one gunned down two years ago, and the other shot in the neck this morning. My heart literally hurts for their mother, here in the states with her 3rd son (my brother-in-law) and only daughter. Jimmy (the one killed this morning) leaves a wife and 7-month-old son. God be with the family, and grant unfathomable peace and comfort … please…

  45. Payback is a B*tch

    Her great times ten-to-the-eighth-power grandmother
    Probably settled here when all that could be seen
    For fifty miles in any direction was forest and mountain
    And streams, the occasional dear, and lots of flies.

    She didn’t ask to have a house built on hers.
    So I am the trespasser, though I still scream and run
    When she walks across her ancestral lands
    Hunting for food which, in truth, I’m glad to have gone.

    I feel the guilt of my trespass and murder charges
    As I turn on the vacuum and suck her up, web and all,
    And hope her great times ten-to-the-eighth power grandchildren
    Don’t cawl out of the drain
    While I’m taking a shower
    And exact vengance on me.

  46. Nancy Posey says:

    Rummaging

    Even though I know you’re gone,
    I feel like a prowler in your house,
    rummaging through your clothes,
    reaching far into the back of the closet,
    daring to climb the wobbly ladder
    into the attic, dark and dusty,
    the perfect scene for Wile E. Coyote’s
    Acme roadrunner trap, insulation
    like old cotton candy, camouflaging
    insubstantial footholds, naked
    light bulb dangling, conjuring shadows.

    I keep glancing over my shoulder,
    expecting you to enter the room,
    to catch me invading your privacy,
    if not your home now left to me.
    I slide your rings on my fingers,
    clip the ear bobs on my lobes,
    like a grown-up game of dress-up.

    My hesitation baffles me;
    I hold old night gowns, bed jackets
    hovering mid-air before assigning them
    to the black trash bag, heavy
    and lifeless as a body bag.
    I check pockets, wondering if you
    too like the surprise of a folder bill,
    and I flip the pages of your Bible,
    the novel, still bookmarked by the bed,
    reading the cryptic penciled notes,
    a letter still unopened, a mystery
    I’ll never solve, and yet I know

    you lived your life like an open book,
    no secrets, no delicate dancing
    around meaning. Forthright, you spoke
    your mind, never withholding truth
    or your affection. Anything I find here
    serves only as confirmation, detritus
    of a live you finished long ago,
    no more to you than cobwebs
    or candy wrappers, your last prank,
    leaving it all for me to muse on,
    your spirit peeking around the corners,
    tickling my neck, whispering my name.

  47. Mike Bayles says:

    Grave Walking

    Cloaked in darkness,
    we walk through the cemetery
    after the closing hour.
    We look for security,
    but only see statues
    keeping watch
    while graves hide in shadows
    with secrets buried deep.
    Kept secret
    are the pranks,
    and I’m sure someone here
    when they were young
    once did the same.
    We walk through my passing life
    reverent and silent
    in darkness
    while waiting to hear
    a timeless story of spirit
    a story to share.

  48. De Jackson says:

    Wow. I had to “log in” to post. Apparently it’s been awhile. Finally back among the living, and the writing.

    Trespasses

    These words
    were never meant
    to spill here,
    to fill this side of
    these tired tracks,
    to intrude on your
    thought process,
    invade your privacy
    or invoke your
    righteous indignation.

    Ignore them
    if you choose;
    loose your own,
    and forgive us
    ours.

    .

  49. Mike Bayles says:

    Grave Walking

    Cloaked in darkness,
    a friend and I
    walk through the cemetery
    after the closing hour.
    We look for security,
    but only see statues
    keeping watch
    while graves hide in shadows,
    with secrets buried deep.
    Kept secret
    are the pranks,
    and I’m sure someone here
    when they were young
    once did the same as I.
    I walk through my passing life,
    reverent and silent
    in darkness
    while waiting to hear
    a timeless story of spirit,
    a story to share.

  50. Marie Elena says:

    Strength for Today (a shadorma)

    Forgive us
    our trespasses, as
    we forgive
    (God help me)
    those who trespass against us –
    again and again.

  51. RobHalpin says:

    Election Time

    Daily,
    the calls come in.
    Political machines
    grinding away, trespassing on
    my time.

  52. JWLaviguer says:

    Dog Days

    Beware of dog
    The sign says
    And they obey

    Once or twice
    They got in
    How we played

    I miss those times
    Now I sit alone
    Chained and forgotten

    Look into my eyes
    And see my hurt
    My loneliness

    Nothing to beware of
    Just an old dog
    Needing a friend.

  53. …AS WE FORGIVEN THOSE WHO TRESPASS

    Offering the other cheek
    is a meek way to succeed.
    But we proceed in the knowledge
    that forgiveness expected
    should be given in kind.
    We are of a mind that the rule
    is golden, and we are emboldened
    by the need to treat another
    as we would want to be.
    Forgiveness is key.
    It unlocks the heart to love.
    All visitors are welcomed.

  54. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES…

    Forgive us, Lord.
    We have walked in paths
    that strayed from the way
    we were raised. We have grazed
    in green pastures that were meant
    for others to consume.
    We are a curious people,
    full of life and desires,
    stirred by the fires within.
    But our sin is in the coveting
    of things we do not possess.
    Forgive us our trespasses. Forgive us.

  55. Neighbors

    When we moved to this new subdivision
    I did not reckon on the lack of trees
    The chemical perfection of the lawns
    The driveways with their breakaway backboards
    The plastic mail boxes a hundred strong.

    Nor did I imagine coming home late
    To discover my furniture had changed
    And that my wife and three children were gone.
    I showered with strange soap, found a towel
    And lay on the couch, feeling uneasy.

  56. “My Trespasser”

    I let you in once.
    Never again. Never
    Should you cross my mind.

    Yet your memory
    Persists, creeping in like mold
    So strong that it hurts

    I’ve built my fences
    My armada, my stronghold
    But your shadow hangs

    Over me, like some
    Smothering smoke or headcold
    My dreams ache for you.

    I let you in once.
    I invited you inside.
    But never again.

  57. RobHalpin says:

    Crowded Cloud

    The angel quotes an
    immortal,
    “Get off of my cloud!”

  58. DON’T TREAD ON ME

    Me? I am a man who keeps to himself.
    Hardly the social butterfly,
    I have my connections, but I’m selective.
    Maybe I’m a bit too private,
    seeming aloof and distant. But,
    everyone has their own space to
    live within which keeps them removed
    from the prying eyes of others.

    Others can choose to allow
    aspects of their
    lives to hang like dirty
    laundry in the public eye,
    only to find they’ve made themselves vulnerable; too
    willing to give up that which makes them secure.

    Secure in the knowledge that
    those who chose to intrude upon another
    have no reason to think that they
    are accepted to have carte-blanche. It is
    the dumbing down of social mores,

    moreso than anyone’s need to know.
    Keep to yourself that which is meant for
    no one else’s eyes, and
    open up to others what you feel comfortable to give.
    Walk upon the paths allowed, but don’t tread on me.

  59. OFF OF MY CLOUD

    Silence plays on the mind
    as a cacophonous noise.
    A stirring intrusion on
    thoughts and ideas left
    to fester and ferment.
    Time is spent
    lamenting the loss
    of privacy and secrets
    exposed. But a solitary man
    know the damage of such
    thrusts to his quiet place.
    It might be what he needs,
    but not always what he wants.
    He’ll emerge when ready.
    Leave him alone and
    he’ll come around.

  60. patteran says:

    NIGHT POACHERS

    Full moon
    bold as a cry,
    clean as new ice.

    Two men running
    noiseless across
    frozen fields.

    Gin traps in
    canvas bags
    rattle like teeth.

    They fall laughing
    in clouds into
    the lee of a wall.

    A dog barks;
    a man calls.
    The sounds curl away.

    The men sleep
    wrapped around
    their prey
    like lovers.

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