another daydream

another daydream

Friday, March 8, 2019

"The Way"

The Way 
The way she moves, it's beautiful. 
Ankle bells tell rotation of feet
while hips accent left to rightful,
elbows exalt into the downbeat.
A continuity of snaking arms greets
bangles that jangle in a new refrain
as her head slides west to east.
Shoulders shimmy like rain
cascading through human frame;
she may captivate she will not pay
ransom owed to an ancient claim.
It's she who moves the way
––like a divining rod  
recalls the beauty on arid sod. 


Friday, February 22, 2019

"Peacock Décima"

Peacock Décima

The form heralds decimation
of freewheeling on easy swing
of mood with no need for steering.
Pattern prances with sheer gumption,
struts end rhymes and knows not to shun
the task of resplendent display.
His plumage be a tale… a play.
Follow him, watch, a quiet fan.
He will reward you with the span
of afterthought, and preen your day. 


Friday, February 8, 2019

"Audition" (with apologies to Gerard Manley Hopkins)


On stage, at the boys’ military academy,
I will recite while seated in my uniform:
white collared shirt tucked into leaf green skirt,
matching green socks stretched thin from tugging,
and brown buckle shoes. I press my knees together
for integrity.

The poem of my choice is “Carrion Comfort”
which I have never uttered aloud. Gambling on
the intonation of “thy wring-world right foot rock?”
my voice is a filly cantering on a carousel,
stuck in the whirl of an incessant organist.

Rows of boys I have looked at only fleetingly, and
a cadre of girls who have something to assert––
like buoyant breasts or popularity––watch me read.
“Scan with darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones?”
I’m losing my chance at the high school play.

Feeling queasy, uneasy––“me heaped there;
me frantic to avoid thee and flee?”
––as the final phrase disbands in dismay, 
“I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.” 


Thursday, January 24, 2019

"Reel Choices"

Reel Choices
         ––for Herb G.

Herb has a list
by decade, by genre,
a movie bucket list.
Buckle up, with remote.
Sweat your near fears.
Project what you cannot
reject as real––your
mother bequeathing her dusty
effects, the almost fiancée
who is forgetting your
touch, plans to abandon
and piles to sort. 
In the meantime, pick
a movie––you’re entitled.


Friday, January 11, 2019



Pink rose in a planter
three winters.
On the fourth spring,
sprouts absent,
I give it to the sunny

Slim chance of retrieval, 
rose spirit sapped.
Charcoal color thorns

A crystal
I place with the

––uncertain medicine
rooted in purity of

what can idly die
as long as I conceive


Wednesday, December 26, 2018



The infant
will be sentenced 
even as he is born.
Even as gifts are given,
the last agony begins.
We sing-song in the sands of
an hourglass...we praise the promise
of the start...we fold the ending into the 
startle of the babe who beats our hearts.
And we cry "joy" in the night, as if...
from the sweet milk of hope we will never part. 


Monday, December 17, 2018

Ring in the Ghazal!

Play It By Ear

Like the pallu of a sari flapping on a motorcycle ride, ire will rise
––with a push of speedy air, that blaze of color, like ire, will rise.

We argued about language, as if it amounts to a ratio of rice and water,
each part of speech counted in cups, enough (in my mind) to kill sunrise.

Our visits were scanty, but in the ache of your birthday, nearly broke, you
scored twenty dollars (I found) on our path––aha––walking till moonrise.

Ah, if the chair has been yanked, as well as the house and land, I’ll take:
a journal, a mirror, and a carpet––to reach some other side of fulfill, arise!

The care of oddities, like a nocturlabe, is how I ace what the hare in the moon
does chase––the sea and strands of seaweed mussing my hair before I’ll rise. 


[Anagrams from the name Charise feature in this ghazal poem: ear, sari, ire, rise, air, as, rice, each, ache, aha, ah, chair, has, reach, arise, care, is, ace, hare, chases, sea, hair.]

Monday, December 3, 2018


Shooting for the Moon

They handed me a gun
––dusk, as it happened,
moon misbegotten on
my glass-top table. Sullen,
I aimed––not pointing at anyone,
not blaming the run
of Furies, not looking to shun
repercussions of a percussive gun.
Shards surround, leaves abun-
dant fever the ground. It’s autumn.
I’m mad for a glow minus reflection. 


[Also featured in the column "Next Line, Please" of The American Scholar ]