Posted in Poetry

Dead Bug Skeletons

A poem of longing for Day 14 of November

Closed up in here

No dirt, no grass

Just man-made walls

And dirty lights with

Dead bug skeletons

Decaying slowly.

(It even kills them.)


© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry


Charley at Life in Portofino posed a Challenge for the November edition of Casting Bricks that is indeed a very great challenge.  To complete his poem I went with an assumption that is not in the text of John where this story is told, but is a plausible reason why the woman at the well had been married numerous times.  Charley’s words are in bold and mine follow.  (Everyone is welcome to join us in the Casting Bricks Challenge!)

[Here comes she, bearing her plight.]

 (A man!  Will his words carry sugar
as does all the rest?)

 [She suffers more than she needs.
Her exclusion from the throng
is her own guilt.]

 (A Jew!  Why is he waiting here,
and at this hour?)

[Her heart remains open – Thank
you, Father!]

 (I cannot face him.  He must know
that I am an outcast.  Perhaps
if I ignore him.)

 [She cannot know that I am here
to bring her back into the world
of the living.]

 (Maybe he will ignore me.)
“Will you give me some water?”
Oh, my child!
Whom never I bore
in my persistent barrenness
you shall hear the story
of the quorum
of husbands who took me
to the gates,
each in his turn
for my empty
womb, setting me
to scavenge,
to beg the shelter
due a woman without

until that one —
who wanted naught
but water–
to fill up,
not my infertile margins,
but my desolate soul.

It makes my feet itch
for I have none to inherit
my satisfaction.

© Life in Portofino / Jilly 

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Scra(m)bling for Words

A week ago I took up the Challenge from my good friend and poet, NoSaintAugustine, and played a game a Scrabble for words to complete his intriguing poem.  It has moldered in the editing process all this time.  This morning I realized that it was unfinished because I had insulted my internal Editor with my words.  Once realised, I told her to get over it and get back to work.  Here is the outcome 😉    (N.S. Augustine’s words are in bold; mine follow.)

Harsh poet, exact your daily fee
Of dew and pity
Work as a tofu waiter
To earn medicine you borer bee
With your waxy yoke

Make a pile of wood dust

Your boots cooled in the queue
Waiting for those pills that help you
Dance for them
You dance for them with haughty eye
You wear your tutu like a mane

Gentle editor, kite your daily bread
Of ax and quotes
Toil as a charlatan
To find that shadow you ripened roach
With your two-noded ire

Make a pile of wood dust

Your lungs jabbed with postpone
Waiting for those apes that kill you
Dance with them
You dance with them for taxi fare
You wear your mane like a tutu

© Collaborative Poetry of NoSaintAugustine & Jilly

Everyone is welcome to join us at Casting Bricks to Attract Jade, a Collaborative Poetry project filled with friendly, fun and zany poets!  This one was a ton of fun!  If you don’t have a Scrabble board, give the Words With Friends app a whirl.


Posted in Poetry

Grit (an Ode)

Oh! Glorious, that tiny speck of sand
as a boulder found within my shoe
picked up along the sidewalk unplanned
brought my wandering thoughts back anew

For as I strode that silver slip of path
my thoughts had drifted toward a darker bent—
fretful, fearful images, destruction, unspent wrath—
anguish and despair were freely given vent.

The sting upon my heel felt most keen,
I paused and leaned upon a light post there
and emptying that bit of ancient shell, a scene
fell within my gaze, I stopped to stare.

The image of those devious waves that rumble
and travel whelk and cockles ‘cross the shores,
what have I about to grumble
when that bright shard connects my heel with yours?

© Jilly’s All Rights Reserved

Frank has us writing Odes at dVerse tonight.  Join us!

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

It’s Never about Birds

Five days have slipped by since the November edition of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade rolled out and I am finally managing to slow down enough to put a Challenge Poem out for anyone who would care to give it a whirl.  I was discussing clichés with my students recently and that sparked this challenge poem.  There is no form, so do as you will, my fellow poets!  Full details about Casting Bricks are here or click on my perma-link on the side bar.

It’s never about birds in poetry;
it is about our inadequate,
marrow-filled bones that
weigh us down
reminding us of the immediacy
of the dust.

It’s never about stars in poetry;

Posted in Poetry

Institutionalized (with a Poet’s Soul)

26 carefullyarrangeddesks

1 teacherdesk

1 smartscreenthat nearlycoversall writable boardspace

1 commonsetof boardconfiguration magnets

so I will know what things to write each day
sothat whenan administrator
I-padtoobserve my


teaching style theycan
see-at-a-glance that
I have been assimilated
so I cangetmyextra
whereIneeda microscope fromthe


to my150studentswho
are savvy enough to roll their eyes
at the BeauracracyInPlace
and go on planning their careers
degrees in education

On the event of having to remove 2 easy chairs from my classroom because they violate the fire code which was the same fire code last year when the chairs were okay.

© Jilly’s Rant – All Rights Reserved

Posted in Poetry


Don’t reach for the stars
it will only give you a bad shoulder
that aches in the night
when you have slept
too long on one side.

Turn, instead,
your hands and thrust
them into your tender,
unprotected chest cavity,
carefully separating
the sinews, working
your way between
the seventh and eighth ribs.

There.  It is just there
that your fingers first accost
the upper edges of digestion
where you are still slowly working
out how to grapple
with that chunk of regret
from 1992.

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

A few days ago, Charley over at Life in Portofino published a poem entitled A Matter of Love, in which he gave his unique spin on defining the word ‘Reach.’  It sparked something for my muse and Charley was good enough to allow me to borrow his word for the title and topic of this poem for Day 6 of my personal Poem-A-Day challenge.

Posted in Poetry

Solstice Flower

Whosoever would lash his coat
about him and burst out
into the contagious
December night in search
of coming winter would find
the soul of a yellow dog
yowling at the Full Cold Moon.

He would see you and silence
his cries, waiting your approach,

You are of the same genus.

Travel together
along the same hardened
path, for surely you shall find
that solstice flower
hardy and rising
above the new snow.
Pluck it and bring it home
to place in an old Mason jar.

Stoke the fire;

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

Day 5 of November.  Today’s inspiration comes from Day 4 of Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides prompt to write “Whosoever _____”   poem. (Although, I did not get around to posting there.)

Image from Pinterest

Posted in Poetry


three black vultures rise

tilt, turn in the white morning sun
plumes of death trail behind

contrails, circle above landing planes
thermal-driven without effort
father, son, holy ghost

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

A Cherita for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats: Day 4 

Also posting to Frank J. Tassone’s Challenge #6 – Saints & Souls

Author’s Note:  We have a large number of Black Vultures here in Florida, for which I, personally am thankful.  They are specially designed and equiped to deal with death, thus removing it from our hands.  They get a bad rap from most; I consider them essential.  In that light, they are highly symbolic.  ~Jilly