Technology Tanka

My response to the Monday poetry prompt.

The machine age brought
ease, comfort, new ways to war
and a race to space.

What will be our epigraph 
when at last we destroy ourselves?

Author’s Note: Don’t mistake me for a luddite. Some of my favorite things are electricity, WiFi, my devices…. You get the picture. But I worry sometimes about the ethical implications brought about by the leading edge of science. As to what the epigraph will be, that’s up to some alien archeologists to figure out.

My Sins are on Whispers and Echoes!

I am pleased as punch to see my poem Seven Deadly Sins published on Whispers and Echoes.

I submitted this poem for the submission call for Sorta Sonnets, And what exactly are those? Well, here in his own words, W&E guest editor Bartholomew Barker

“I’ve been taking poetry seriously for more than a decade and I’ve been posting poetry to my website for nearly as long. I’ve noticed that in many cases, poems naturally to resolve themselves in about fourteen lines which is why I assume our predecessors, Petrarch and Shakespeare, developed and perfected the sonnet. But getting things laid out in iambic pentameter with the appropriate rhyme scheme is a lot of work. So, that’s why I tend to write “Sorta-Sonnets,” brief poems of fourteen unrhymed lines. If there’s a rhyme it’s only the final couplet. Of course one good Turn is well deserved.

High on Helium

Image curtesy of the Monday Poetry Prompt.

Brightly colored orbs
against a clear blue sky
Smiles for young and old

Guilt for deadly consequences
for marine life eating them.

Did you know, helium is not just for balloons and squeaky voices? MRI machines and super computer use helium. A few years ago there was a shortage of helium in the craft stores and talk of running out of helium. It turns out private companies that extract and sell helium are just running down the stockpile

Free to be squeaky
Just do it responsibly 
From tanks, not balloons

When your BFF Gets You

I was alerted to a package at the front door.

“Please send thoughts, prayers and chocolate,”


The BFF wearing dress and hat she designed and sewed,

Yet when I was asked to send Proof of Life after a tornado touched in my neighborhood recently…

I got nothing…

Who? Me?


Today’s poem was inspired by my friend eQuips’ blogpost, The Dichotomy of Sand. Be sure to check out her poem and her blog! The picture is Myrtle Beach, SC.


Eschew the microscope, forgo counting grains
Each one is unique and marvelous
but for now just enjoy the dichotomy

A house built on sand
will eventually collapse
A house built on sand
mixed with water and cement
will be last for centuries

Rest – lay down in soft sand
Burrow until every curve
is supported in natural comfort

And when it is time to go home
wash with care so the abrasive grit
takes away the grime of modern life

There will be blood

Accident Type: Unspecified Motorized Vehicle Incident

I was in a hurry and hit the throttle too hard.
The impact was so hard
I felt my body vibrate like a struck bell.

I was focused on the destination
and didn’t notice the pool of blood
I stood in until I was ready to sit.

Eww. This bathroom is disgusting.
That’s mine.

I didn’t panic.
Left that for my cool, authoritative
In Case of Emergency contact person.

So. Much. Blood.
I stumped the pharmacist and paramedics.
Are you sure you’re not on blood thinners?

It wasn’t deep but I had been flayed
by a bathroom stall door
while driving my mobility scooter.

The thin sutures slipped out
of my leg like like topsoil blowing away
in the Dust Bowl.

The TEN heavier sutures poked into the air
from my shin like eyelashes
on a child’s monster drawing.

Changing the dressing stung
causing the thin skin between stitches
to roll up like wet tissue.

Hospital discharge notes indicated risk
of “poor cosmetic result.”
Please send thoughts, prayers and chocolate.

It Adds Up

April 2022 PAD Tally

On day 1, 2 and 3
I wrote poetry

Nothing new on 4
I finished one from before

I didn’t write on day 5
My urge to poem took a dive

I didn’t poem on day 6
except that I wrote this

Day 11, 8 and 9
I poem’d just fine

Day 7 and 10 were dilly-dally
They won’t be included in the PAD tally

Day 12 prompt, write a counting poem
Doing that now, I’m in the zone

Day 13 there’s no poem on my plate
I’m not superstitious but why temp fate

Days 14 through 18 was a successful run
On Day 29, day 19 got done

Nothing written on day 20
I’m fine with that, I’ve got poems a plenty.

Day 21, I was back in the game
This month has been great, and a little lame

Poems for day 22 and 23
were not too shabby if you ask me

Day 24 was a political rant
I was angry but I won’t recant

Nothing new on day 25
Poetically speaking I was barely alive

Day 26, 27 and 28
I’ve got poems done on my plate

Day 29 became flash fiction
It counts and that’s my opinion

Day 30 I finished with three brief lines
It’s my work, and that is fine

The April ’22 total is 28 done
come back next year for more poetry fun


It struck me as odd that the prompt for the next to last day of April’s Poem a Day challenge was, write a The Last Blank poem. I sat at the dinner table with mom discussing the prompt and, perhaps because I was eating, came up with cake. I told her the story, put a funny end on it and made her laugh. But now that I’m in the wee hours of April 30th, I decided A. it worked better as a story then a poem, and 2. it needed a different ending.

The Last Slice of Cake

Most of the guests had gone home. Two were passed out, snoring, on opposite ends of the couch. A few diehards were still drinking but heads were nodding more than elbows were bending. The living room was littered with wrapping paper, confetti, and empty solo cups; but that was nothing compared to the wreckage of the food table. Empty bottles, dip smears, and scraps of food covered it all. A bitter odor from the carpet under the table didn’t bode well for tomorrow’s clean-up efforts. The party had been a complete success.

One piece of cake sat, leaning and lonely in the frosting and crumb coated bakery box. Our eyes locked and moved as one to the cake and back to each other.

“I got one bite before I set my plate down and you confiscated it.”

“Yeah, then Kyle tackled me, and that was the end of my favorite shirt. Besides, I’m the birthday boy.”

“Well I’m the birthday girl and I ordered it so I deserve it.”

“This is the last time we do one party for both of us.”

“You are such a child.”

In an angry rush, we broke eye contact and lunged for the cake, stabbing it with plastic forks. I still didn’t get more than a bite, and he ended up shirtless, again.

Happy Birthday indeed.

Free Speech for April

Raise your hand if you’re slogging through April’s Poem a Day Challenge. I don’t care if you have only done a few, or if you have one for every day of the month so far. Just one poem written in April qualifies you to raise your hand.

I wasn’t sure how many I would be able to eek out but I’m doing better than I thought. I’ll post a tally when the month is over. In the meantime. Here’s an April poem for the prompt: “write a superhero or supervillain poem.” Mine was inspired by recent events.


You’re a mean one, Mr. M
Buying billion-dollar tech toys
shooting rockets into space
while ignoring the poverty
that your money could erase

Your brain is full of rocket fuel
Does your heart even beat?
You’ve got greed in your soul Mr. M
I wouldn’t talk to you with a
two-hundred-forty-character tweet

Do you heat your fortress
with hundred-dollar bills?
You’re a mean one Mr. M
in your house up in the hills.

If you ask the homeless and hungry
or anyone without money
none of them would deny
you’re a vile one, Mr. M
I hope someone spits in your eye

JeanMarie Olivieri

I am pleased as punch to have six of my poems published by the talented poet and publisher Susi Bocks.

I Write Her

Judith Zimmermann – Unsplash

My Failure

My complete and utter failure
as a dancer, singer, actress
has not taken away my desire to perform.
Never the top dog or celebrity,
I have no history of gutter scraping
debauchery either. I’m firmly rooted
in the middle of the pack,
dying of obscurity and boredom.

I am not beautiful

but every now and then
I step out in my pearls and lace
and show off my plain face
as though
I am

Life Hurts

Learning to walk, or ride a bike
comes with boo-boos and bruises.
Prayer or wealth cannot save you
from stubbed toes and runny noses.

As we grow so do the blows
from failures, broken hearts, and funerals.

Embrace the pain like a caterpillar
that must dissolve into goo
before it gets wings.

To reach the other side
is to receive Grace.

My scars are old friends.

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