Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry


Let the children lamentations sing
For we are by the internet captive taken

Save yourselves, oh virginal generation
For intellectual artifice is your destined heir,
their anodized steel, your veneration;
soft, weak, your flesh shall they bare.

Let the strong youth petitions bring
For our pure reason not be forsaken

Save yourselves, oh mighty youth
For logic will flail in the walls of code,
stand upon the edge of time – see the proof;
chaos will surely be your Spartan abode.

Let grownups extol the joy of books
For it is by writing and reading we live

Save your words, you fading fosters
For it is a pleasure to deny; to burn
lexicons of man the blazing imposter
your poet’s words will die, unlearned.

Let the elders shepherd with staffs and crooks
For it is seeming that to us their wisdom they give

Save your wisdom, oh perishing patriarch
For your children have slain with derision;
lit and celebrated the dying guide’s mark,
cauterized argument flayed with precision.


For Jilly’s December Casting Bricks Collaborative Challenge, this is my completion of Charley’s challenge poem (Life in Portofino).  His words are in bold.

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 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 Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Minstrel in Two Voices

Taking up Charley’s Casting Bricks Challenge.  He called the first half a ‘faux madrigal,’ and being one who enjoyes forms, I carried it forward into a full madrigal.  His part is actually fairly close to a true madrigal.   (I must admit that I was tempted to take his last line and go into erotic poetry since he left that up to interpretation, but I behave my little poet-self.  Now, if he had said ‘burgeoning sword…’)  His lines are in bold.

I am but a minstrel, a singer of songs.
A righter of wrongs.
And I sing to make my mistress happy.
And I sing to bring her peace.
When my voice and my lute
do not suffice,
I unsheathe my sword
And I become….

My songster warrior, strong
enough to battle the dark
night of my soul, slash away
criminals; breaking, entering,
raping the peace, throwing stones

waking me harsh with mutters
throwing stones at the shutters.

© Collaborative Work of Jilly / Charley; Life in Portofino

We are writing collaborative poetry for Jilly’s September Challenge of Casting Bricks.  Please join us!

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Day Off sans Descriptors

Charley at Life in Portofino threw down a Casting Bricks Challenge that was too good to pass up.  The last line of his half-poem: “To describe without descriptors” begged to be met with emotion rather than adjectives.  I wrote this fast with little editing, so it may need work, but I lack the raw energy for that.  Oh well, his words are in bold and mine follow.

Our days of release
are uninspiring,
dusty cotton gray.
I recline half conscious,
murmur my desire:
describe without descriptors
the roll of the pond,
the nod of the trees.

a riot had been planned
the pines pulled up
scrub oaks
club oaks
catalpas tied back
their vines
with bandanas
weaving blossoms into chains
a puff of crows flew off
leaving only brooding vultures
in the branches

but the outflow boundary
disappointingly didn’t
quite make it that far
and the long-hoped-for
downburst simply didn’t show

so that nothing more than
bitching and leaf rustling
whistled through them
as they stood around
the water-cooler lake
picking the occasional
bass or adjective from their teeth.

© Jilly / Charley Collaborative Poetry

Care to join in with Casting Bricks?  We would love to have you!  Click here to check it out!

Posted in Poetry

Long John Gets Poe-etic

Taking up the challenge that Charley tossed out there.  It is a Quadrille – familiar territory. Having a great time with the July Challenge;  hope you are all doing the same! Y’all are a creative bunch.

The bird broke
my concentration
when he pecked
the door.

“Anatomy of Melancholy”
from my fingers fell.

Closed, it hit the floor.  

am I compelled,
anger replacing my
gloom as I cross the room
wishing I’d taught Captain Flint
to use the bell!

Collaborative Poetry Charley (Life in Portofino) / Jilly